EU interior ministers ignore CIA secret jails issue
IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency
Brussels, Dec 2, IRNA
The European Union Justice and Home Affairs Council, meeting in Brussels Thursday, did not discuss the issue of CIA secret jails and prisoner flights in Europe which is causing an international uproar.
"We didn't discuss it at all. Why not, because we set the agenda," was the curt reply given by British Interior Minister Charles Clarke.
Clarke, who chaired the council, was replying to a journalist's question related with the matter during a press conference Thursday evening.
The UK, which currently holds the EU presidency, is a strong ally of the US and actively supported the US-led war and occupation of Iraq.
Franco Frattini, EU justice and home affairs commissioner, Wednesday said that a secret jail on EU territory would violate the European Convention on Human Rights and warned that any EU state found to have hosted a secret jail could be punished.
The American media have reported that the US secret service CIA hid, interrogated, and tortured terror suspects at Soviet-era compounds in Eastern Europe.
Adding credence to the reports on CIA jails, the Human Rights Watch said Thursday that the US is holding at least 26 persons as ghost detainees at undisclosed locations outside of the US.
The detainees are being held indefinitely and incommunicado, without legal rights or access to counsel.
Meanwhile, the EU interior ministers discussed a EU
The agreement on an EU strategy for combating radicalization and recruitment is a major step forward for the European Union, said Clarke.
The EU's counterterrorism strategy was adopted in 2004 with the focus on four pillars, prevent, protect, pursue, and respond.
The ministers also discussed a global approach to migration, the outcome of the Euro-Med summit in Barcelona earlier this week, and the EU assistance to Afghanistan to fight drugs.
The ministers will tackle two contentious issues, a European evidence warrant and data retention in Friday's session.
London is keen to push a fast track legislation, which requires mobile phone operators and Internet service providers to retain and make available communications data to security agencies.
But EU states, the European Parliament and the European Commission are at odds over civil liberties and legal basis on data retention.
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