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CIA targeting Muslims in Europe - MEP

CIA targeting Muslims in Europe - MEP

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ne: 07-05-2006, 11:43:22
A British member of the European Parliament (MEP) accused the European Union of allowing the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency to kidnap and illegally detain Muslims in Europe, IRNA reported.

http://islamonline.com/cgi-bin/news_service/world_full_story.asp?service_id=2374

Addressing the European Parliament in Brussels, Sajjad Karim, a Liberal Democrat MEP for North-West England, said: "I can tell you that I have hundreds and thousands of Muslims in my constituency and, unfortunately, I have to report to you that there is now an overwhelming belief that so long as only EU Muslims are being targeted by the CIA in this way the EU government will allow such practices to continue."



Karim's comments came at a session with EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana, who was grilled by the European Parliament's panel investigating allegations of illegal CIA fights and secret prisons in the European Union.

"I wish I had heard more from you so that I could take the message back to my constituency and Muslims there," said Karim.

For his part, Solana urged European governments to win Muslim trust.

"One basic argument that extremists use is that the West is guilty of double standards; that somehow we don't apply our human rights principles to Muslims," said Solana.

"To defeat the extremists, we need to win the battle for hearts and minds, including of Muslims around the world. To do that, we must stress that this is a joint fight, together with Muslims, on the basis of common values," he added.

But several MEPs accused Solana of failing to act on allegations of torture by the CIA of terror suspects.

"There is now no doubt that the CIA has been responsible for the abduction and illegal detention of alleged terrorists on EU soil," said Liberal MEP Sarah Ludford.

"It is also now clear that EU governments have either passively turned a blind eye, or actively collaborated with the CIA…. Surely you (Solana) have a political obligation as secretary-general of the Council to investigate these allegations,

"You claim that under the narrow remit of article seven of the (EU Treaty), you have no power to investigate -- but you do have a political duty. Saying you can do nothing paints such a pathetic picture of the EU," she added.

Last week, an interim report by the European Parliament committee found that the CIA has staged more than 1000 secret flights through Europe since the September 11, 2001 attacks.

The report also found that the CIA abducted terror suspects from EU countries and took them to countries where they could face torture or to in clandestine prisons outside EU or U.S. jurisdiction.

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