US denies outsourcing torture on eve of UN panel hearing Lisl Brunner at 8:44 AM ET
[JURIST] As the UN Committee Against Torture [official website] prepares to hold its review of US compliance with international laws banning torture, a US State Department lawyer said Thursday that the US does not outsource torture and claimed that allegations of secret flights and prisons are harming relations between the US and Europe. Speaking to the press before the committee's annual meeting in Geneva, US Department of State legal adviser John Bellinger [official profile] responded to questions regarding a European Parliament [official website] report released last week, which alleged that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) [official website] had conducted over 1,000 secret flights [JURIST report] through European territory to transport suspected terrorists as part of its rendition [JURIST news archive] policy. Bellinger claimed that "very few" such flights had taken place but did not provide any details. He also answered questions about Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archives], saying that those who have called for the facility to be closed have not suggested a feasible alternative.
There continues to be debate on the CIA prison and rendition flight allegations. EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said earlier this week that there is no proof that the CIA used secret prisons [JURIST report] in Eastern Europe to detain the suspects. Reuters has more.
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