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E.U. and U.S. Must Begin New Phase of Transatlantic Relations Based on Respect for Human Rights, Says Amnesty International
BRUSSELS - April 28 - Transparency, accountability and respect for international human rights must be the hallmarks of a new phase of transatlantic relations in the field of justice and home affairs, says Amnesty International as the E.U. presidency meets U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano to discuss the fight against terrorism.
In a letter addressed to the Czech Presidency, Amnesty International urged the European Union (E.U.) to send a strong signal that it is committed to an approach to fighting terrorism which is based on the rule of law and respect for international human rights standards.
"Although we have seen some progress, the reality is that over 240 men remain unlawfully detained at Guantanamo and hundreds of others languish in U.S. custody in Afghanistan with no means to challenge their detention," said Nicolas Beger, director of Amnesty International's E.U. office.
"The United States continues to reserve the right to use rendition and allow the CIA to hold individuals on a short-term and transitory basis without a legal framework governing such detentions being made clear," he added.
"In addition, the E.U. has yet to adequately address its own role and the responsibilities of member states in renditions and secret detentions," he said.
Amnesty International calls on the E.U. to reiterate to its U.S. counterparts that:
*cooperation on closing Guantanamo must go hand in hand with tackling potentially unlawful detentions, detention conditions and interrogation techniques elsewhere; *all individuals detained as part of counterterrorism operations must have access to effective judicial review, and must be charged or safely released; and *the laws of war should not be invoked as a possible legal basis for detention of individuals outside the context of an ongoing international armed conflict.
Amnesty International publishes its assessment of President Obama's first 100 days in office in its report, Mixed Messages: Obama's First 100 days, on April 28 at 8 p.m. It will be available at: