frandroid: We are the Canadian Borg. Resistance would be impolite. Please wait to be assimilated. Pour l'assimilation en français.. (canada)
[personal profile] frandroid
EU threatens Canada with visa war.

Amusingly, it's the completely opposite story of what's going on with the U.S.: whereas we're complaining that the U.S. is going to require us to have passport to walk in, in this case it's the E.U. that's complaining that we're still requiring people from 8 of the newest E.U. members to apply for visa to come to Canada. The E.U. wants us to drop the requirement, just like those countries had to drop requiring Canadians (and many other people, presumably) from applying for visas as part of their entry package in the E.U. If we don't drop the requirement, we might have to apply for visas to visit places like France and the U.K. I'm putting $20 on the E.U. winning this round.


Le Monde Diplomatique March 2007

Secrets and lies
By Ignacio Ramonet
What is the most apt epithet for European governments caught in the act of colluding with a foreign agency in abducting suspects who were then
transported to secret prisons and tortured? It is hard to imagine a more flagrant violation of human rights, a violation committed by states that are forever prating about their respect for the law.

Two recent events bear witness to the prevailing schizophrenia. On 7
February representatives of most European governments assembled in Paris and solemnly signed a United Nations convention against enforced disappearances that prohibits secret detention (1). On 14 February the European parliament in Strasbourg adopted a report accusing the same governments of colluding with the United States Central Intelligence Agency in secret abduction operations.

According to that report (2) at least 1,245 flights operated by the CIA stopped over at European airports between the end of 2001 and the end of 2005, many of them transporting victims of extraordinary rendition to the illegal detention centre at Guantánamo or to prisons in countries such as Egypt or Morocco where torture is common practice. It is now clear that European governments were well aware of the criminal nature of these secret
flights. Some did not just turn a blind eye: Poland and Romania are suspected of having set up mini-Guantánamos on their territory, where people abducted in Pakistan, Afghanistan or elsewhere were held pending transfer to their final destination.

The British government is suspected of participating in the abduction and abuse of suspects, as are the Swedish and Austrian governments. The German authorities are accused of knowing about the abduction of Khaled al-Masri, a German citizen of Lebanese origin who was taken to Afghanistan and tortured. The Italian secret services are accused of helping CIA agents in Milan to kidnap Imam Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, known as Abu Omar, who was transported to Egypt and incarcerated in Tora prison, south of Cairo, where he was allegedly raped and tortured (3).

This wholesale violation of human rights could not have taken place without the knowledge of the staff of the EU High Representative for the common foreign and security policy, Javier Solana, and his colleague, the EU
counter-terrorism coordinator, Gijs de Vries. In an eloquent gesture, De Vries chose to resign, warning that the democratic states must conduct the fight against terrorism with regard for the law, and that the massive abuses at Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo, combined with the CIA abductions, have destroyed the credibility of the US and of Europe (4).

All those who participated in these abductions, those who gave the orders as well as those who carried them out, must fear the the law and reflect on the fate of Maria Estela Martinez Peron (Isabelita), former president of Argentina, where the authorities engaged in political abduction on a massive scale in the name of counter-terrorism. Peron has just been arrested in Madrid and charged with the enforced disappearance of a student, Hector Faguetti, 31 years ago, in February 1976. Justice may be slow but it is inexorable.

Translated by Barbara Wilson

(1) UN Convention for the protection of all persons from enforced
disappearance; 60 countries (including Chile, Argentina and Uruguay, but not
the US) have signed the convention, which must be ratified by at least 20
states in order to enter into force.

(2) Report on the alleged use of European countries by the CIA for the
transportation and illegal detention of prisoners [ ], 30 January 2007.

(3) Legal proceedings opened on 16 February, before a court in Milan,
against 26 CIA agents and six members of the Italian secret services,
accused of organising the enforced disappearance of Imam Abu Omar in
February 2003.

(4) Reported in El Pais, Madrid, 17 February 2007.


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