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Europe must face facts on rendition

Abu Omar, victim of rendition and secret detention

© Amnesty International

24 June 2008

My life has changed and I feel like a destroyed man…. All night long I suffer nightmares and all day long I remember torture so I shake.
Abu Omar, describing how he feels after the torture suffered in Egypt.

Usama Mostafa Hassan Nasr, known as Abu Omar, was snatched by US and Italian agents from the streets of Milan on 17 February 2003. CIA agents then rendered him, via Germany, to Egypt, where he was held for nearly four years, including 14 months in secret detention. He says that, for seven months, he was tortured up to 12 hours a day.
Abu Omar is one of the six cases of rendition and secret detention – involving thirteen men - highlighted in the report State of denial: Europe’s role in rendition and secret detention.

The report describes the involvement of European states - ranging from allowing CIA flights headed for rendition circuits to use European airports and airspace to hosting secret detention centres, or “black sites” – and their failure to admit or investigate violations carried out by their nationals or on their territory.

“European governments are in a state of denial and have been sidestepping the truth for too long,” said Amnesty International. “Their involvement in renditions and secret detention runs in stark contrast to their claims to be responsible actors in the fight against terrorism.”

Amnesty International’s six-point plan for Europe to end renditions and secret detention calls on states to condemn rendition and secret detention and take positive steps to bring those responsible to justice, ensure reparations for the victims and bring those responsible to justice.

What you can do now:

In view of France’s Presidency of the European Union, please send an email to President Nicolas Sarkozy and urge him to lead the EU Council to take action to end rendition and secret detention (link to rendition web action)

Demand justice for victims of rendition and secret detention.

How you can help