Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Dermot Ahern T.D. , welcomes report by Secretary-General of Council of Europe on Extraordinary Rendition
I welcome publication of the Secretary General's analysis of the replies he has received from the forty-six member states of the Council of Europe to his request under Article 52 of the European Convention on Human Rights in relation to the "unacknowledged deprivation of liberty". The Government's response was made public last week following its submission, and is available from the website of the DFA, at www.dfa.ie.
The Secretary General's analysis makes clear that the Government's comprehensive response was one of a minority of thirteen responses which he judged not to require further explanation.
It is also clear that Ireland's approach to the issues involved is very much in line with that of other states.
The Secretary General has identified in general terms some issues which he believes require further attention. He intends to make more specific proposals to the Council's Committee of Ministers in due course. In conjunction with our partners, the Government will carefully examine with great interest any proposals the Secretary General may make, including in relation to the international regulation of civil aviation.
The Secretary General raises the issue of assurances relating to the compliance of foreign agents' activities with international and domestic law. However, the assurances the Government has received from the United States relate to a specific matter of fact. They state categorically that prisoners have not been, nor would they be, transferred through Irish territory without the express permission of the Irish authorities. It has been made clear by the Government that, in conformity with the relevant domestic and international law, permission would not be granted for the transit of an aircraft participating in an extraordinary rendition operation or for any other unlawful act.
The Government will, of course, look carefully at any particular additional proposals the Secretary General may have in this area.
1st March 2006