[JURIST] The European Parliament voted 382-256 Wednesday to approve [press release] a report condemning member states for cooperating with the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in operating illegal secret prisons and extraordinary rendition flights [JURIST news archives] in Europe. Seventy-four MEPs abstained from the vote. The report condemns the European countries who allowed the CIA to forcibly remove terror suspects [JURIST report] from within their borders, including the UK, Germany and Italy, and criticized those nations and others for a "reluctance to cooperate" with the EP investigation into the CIA's activities in Europe. An amendment to the report, which passed by a narrow margin, said that reports of secret prisons in Poland could be proved only by circumstantial evidence, and therefore could "neither be confirmed nor denied." The draft report [DOC text; proposed amendments; EP materials] was passed [JURIST report] in January by the temporary committee [official website] tasked with investigating the allegations. BBC News has more.
The conclusions of the European Parliament are similar to previous findings by Europe's human rights watchdog, the Council of Europe. In June, a COE study [PDF text] submitted by Swiss parliamentarian Dick Marty reported that 14 European countries collaborated with the CIA [JURIST report] by taking an active or passive role in a "global spider's web" of secret prisons and rendition flights.
The existence of secret CIA prisons [JURIST report] in Europe was first reported by the New York Times in November 2005, and in December, the EP launched an investigation [JURIST report] into the alleged secret prisons. President Bush publicly acknowledged that secret prisons exist [JURIST report] in September 2006, and in January, the UK admitted knowledge of a CIA prison network [JURIST report]. Earlier this month, Portugal opened a probe [JURIST report] into allegations that CIA planes landed in Portugal en route to Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], among other destinations.