Human Rights Watch
World Report 2007
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Audio Commentary

Press Conference

Photography - Year in Review

News Release




The European Union

With the United States having largely disqualified itself from human rights promotion, China and Russia effectively undermining the effort, and the global South not yet bearing its share of the burden, it is imperative that the European Union rise to the occasion and assume a leadership role. After all, the EU is the world’s leading collection of democracies, founded on a commitment to human rights and the rule of law. Yet the sad truth is that the EU is nowhere near picking up the leadership mantle. All too often, when the EU musters a statement about a human rights problem, it is delivered by a Brussels bureaucrat or takes the form of a written EU Presidency press release rather than a forceful public pronouncement by a head of state or foreign minister. Such statements are rarely followed by firm action or pressure to protect human rights. Due in part to structural problems and in part to a lack of political will, the EU’s underperformance on human rights has left a gaping leadership hole.

The EU role at the UN Human Rights Council illustrates the problem. The United States did not even seek election to the council, a decision apparently based in large part on fear that it would lose. Much of the burden for making the new council live up to its ideals thus rests on the EU and its closest partners—governments like Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Norway, and Switzerland.

The council is evenly divided between traditional supporters and opponents of human rights enforcement, with several democracies in Asia and Africa holding the swing votes. By working with Latin American governments to join forces with these undecided voters, European governments could muster a working majority to address such problems as the crimes against humanity in Darfur, the Uzbek government’s murderous impunity, and Sri Lanka’s reviving civil war. But the sad truth is that the spoilers—the abusive governments that, despite pledges to the contrary, seem to have joined the council to undermine it—have run circles around the Europeans and their allies. In a seeming daze, the supporters of human rights offered mainly defeatism and feeble excuses.

The EU and other governmental supporters of human rights never put forward a compelling vision for the council’s treatment of abusive governments. They never did the needed outreach and lobbying to dissuade swing voters from following their spoiler-led regional blocs rather than their own stated human rights principles. They never called for a special session on Darfur or the deteriorating situation in Sri Lanka to expand the spoilers’ fixation on Israel. Many supporters went so far as to take up the spoilers’ refrain, “cooperation, not condemnation,” as if the threat of condemnation for gross abuses had nothing to do with securing governmental cooperation in overcoming them. For these and other reasons, the council left an awful first impression.

Making Decisions

The EU’s clumsiness can be attributed in part to its cumbersome decision-making process. The need to cobble together a consensus among its 25 members (due to be 27 when this appears in print) tends to yield delays and a lowest-common-denominator position. It takes only one government with deeply felt parochial interests—Cyprus on Turkey, Germany on Russia, France on Tunisia—to block an effective EU position.

For example, Germany’s new Ostpolitik is undermining a strong EU human rights position on Central Asia. In November 2006 Germany succeeded in its aggressive push to ease even the modest sanctions imposed on Uzbekistan following the Andijan massacre of May 2005 even though the Uzbek government took no meaningful steps to meet the conditions originally set for lifting the sanctions. Rather than allow an independent investigation into the massacre, as required, Uzbekistan has offered only “dialogue” and an “expert seminar” on Andijan. Meanwhile, its crackdown on those who dare to voice their dissent has been ruthless, with a dozen human rights defenders convicted and imprisoned on politically motivated charges in 2006 alone.

To support its stance toward Uzbekistan, a country with huge gas reserves and a useful airbase to German troops in Afghanistan, Germany has argued that sanctions had failed to produce positive results—despite Germany having done everything in its power to undermine the sanctions from the moment of their adoption. The EU travel ban on high-ranking Uzbek government officials had barely been announced when Berlin permitted entry into Germany for medical treatment one of the architects of the Andijan massacre—former Uzbek Interior Minister Zokir Almatov—who topped the EU’s travel-ban list. When several of his victims’ families sought his prosecution at great personal risk, the German federal prosecutor refused to arrest him and would not even open a criminal investigation. Nothing that Uzbekistan has done justifies Germany’s capitulationist approach, yet Germany seems to be dragging the EU along, despite resistance from a sizeable group of member-states.

Germany has also taken the lead in presenting a weak EU position on Kazakhstan by lending unequivocal support to the country’s bid to chair the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in 2009, rather than using Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev’s desire for the leadership post as an opportunity to press for long-overdue, concrete reforms.

Similarly in Nepal, following the February 2005 royal coup, the Nordic governments wanted to condemn the coup forcefully and stop the military government from using EU aid. While Denmark in particular played a positive role, other EU governments, including France and Germany, weakened the EU consensus. Britain also pursued an independent, at times accommodationist policy, citing a historic relationship with Nepal. The result was that in the immediate aftermath of the coup the EU adopted a less than vigorous stance that left Nepali civil society feeling unsupported and discouraged.

The EU’s tilt toward the lowest common denominator reflects a preference for unity over effectiveness. Achieving a common position is understandably important for building a community of European nations. In addition, by banding together, EU governments have more clout, and face less risk of retaliation, than if they proceed individually. But if the EU never acts beyond the wishes of its most reluctant member, it will most often end up doing little or nothing. Some more nimble and reasonable decisional process is needed. One option would be to allow a supermajority rather than unanimity to achieve a common foreign policy. But that would require each EU government giving up its prized veto over EU action and the sovereign prerogative that it implies. Yet the status quo also exacts a high price in terms of the repressed people of the world whose pleas for help the EU leaves unanswered.

Even within the requirement of unanimity, improvements are possible. For one, at the Human Rights Council, the EU seems to demand a consensus at an absurdly petty level. Rather than signing off on a strategy and having faith in EU representatives to pursue it wisely, EU members insist on signing off on each proposed resolution word by word. This micromanagement makes it impossible for the EU to respond effectively to changing circumstances or to engage in the quick diplomatic give-and-take needed to build majority alliances.

When human rights are at stake, the EU could also treat its common position as a floor rather than a ceiling. It is appropriate to insist that no government do less than the common EU position on key human rights issues, but why should no government—or group of governments—do more? There is no formal bar, and occasionally it happens, for example with respect to treaties on the International Criminal Court, anti-personnel landmines, and enforced disappearances. Denmark even suggested this approach with respect to Darfur. But too often EU governments use the lack of a strong common position to justify the lack of a strong national one. That may make sense on, say, a tax or trade issue, but to preclude national action for human rights, or action by a group of nations, beyond a minimal consensus is callous—a prioritization of the collective over the effective. It suggests that the EU, despite its ideals, despite its lofty pledges, has ultimately decided that a weak uniform defense of human rights is more important than a vigorous varied one.

One welcome exception to the unanimity rule was the decision in November 2006 by 14 EU member-states to co-sponsor a resolution on Uzbekistan at the UN General Assembly after attempts to reach an agreement among all 25 failed. More such initiatives are needed.

Our aim is not to return to a pre-EU era of 25 separate foreign policies. There is strength in numbers. The relative weakness of the European presence in Afghanistan—where many governments pursue their own bilateral projects without the leverage and reinforcement that would come from a more coordinated approach—highlights the costs of such disarray. Although the EU mission in Kabul is well informed, its member-states hardly use it. As a result, Germany’s police reform was not coordinated with Italy’s judicial reform (the latter ended in 2006). Governments with provincial reconstruction teams do not synchronize their development work. EU participants in NATO’s military operations impose their own bilateral restrictions—German troops will not directly engage insurgents to protect civilians, British troops will not take action against drug runners even if they are supporting the insurgency, Dutch troops are reluctant to hold detainees—that stymie efforts to provide a secure environment for the Afghan people. Yet there are times when strong action by few would be better than weak or no action by many.

Even when a common position is reached, the EU’s insistence on speaking and working almost exclusively through its “presidency” often undermines its clout. At the Human Rights Council, the tradition of the EU speaking once through its presidency, rather than allowing member governments to chime in to second the common position, leaves spoiler nations who have learned the value of repetition to dominate the debate.

More fundamentally, it is difficult to imagine a less effective way to maintain continuity or build expertise than the EU’s rotating blur of six-month leaders. Sometimes, as in the case of Finland’s presidency during the critical first six months of the Human Rights Council, the government seems to be in over its head and to view its job as consensus-forging rather than leadership. Other times, better resourced governments take the reins, but even they must squeeze an agenda into an abbreviated six-month period. The tradition of the incoming presidency as well as the European Council and Commission maintaining a role in a presidential “troika” mitigates this self-imposed handicap somewhat, but not nearly enough. Leadership rotation reaffirms the equality of all EU members, but the refusal to assign long-term responsibility to governments—thus undercutting the possibility of their developing expertise and long-term strategies—is a recipe for dysfunction. In some cases, such as negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, the EU has taken steps to overcome this disability by appointing a permanent strong troika of Britain, France, and Germany to represent the EU. But similar steps have not been taken with respect to important human rights issues.

To overcome this liability, the EU should recognize that its diverse membership could be an asset rather than a procedural problem. Its 25 members have a diversity of experiences and relations with the rest of the world which could be harnessed through long-term “troikas of expertise” or “troikas of effectiveness” rather than rotating “troikas of the recently arrived.” The EU’s clout would be greatly enhanced if, rather than sending a new generation of fresh faces every six months, the same three governments kept showing up at a trouble spot year after year, representing a continuity of concern and a determination to follow through.

EU effectiveness on human rights is also hampered by a lack of transparency. The promotion of human rights will often bump up against other governmental interests. Developing and pursuing a human rights strategy in the back room makes it difficult for the public to know how the EU resolves such clashes—particularly since so many key decisions are taken in Brussels rather than national capitals, and so few involve open parliamentary debate. Governments may find it convenient to avoid embarrassing public scrutiny, but the consequences are felt in the EU’s weak human rights commitments and mediocre performance.

These procedural failings cannot fully explain the EU’s failure of leadership on human rights. Much of the problem is due to a simple lack of political will. Promoting human rights can be costly and difficult, and many governments do not want to bother—at least beyond lip service. But whether procedure or commitment is to blame, the EU’s credibility as a principled promoter of human rights is at stake.

To examine EU leadership on human rights in more detail, it is useful to look at its response to several sets of challenges: the major powers of China, Russia, and the United States; crises such as Darfur; other human rights problems; and human rights issues within the EU itself.

On China

With respect to China, the EU has steadily muted its human rights critique, relegating most public comments to bland written statements that are easily ignored. The EU maintains a periodic human rights “dialogue” with China, but mid-level officials carry it out, headed each time by a representative of a new presidency, with no apparent benchmarks to measure progress from meeting to meeting, and no tangible results. By contrast, Beijing has developed a team of dialogue specialists to deflect criticism and obstruct any impetus for reform. As a result, dialogue remains ensconced in the foreign ministry without the public airing that might jeopardize China’s reputation and spur change.

The dialogue’s insignificance was highlighted at the time of the most recent EU-China summit, held in Helsinki in September 2006, with Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao in attendance. On behalf of the EU presidency, Finland’s ambassador to Beijing, Antti Kuosmanen, stated that human rights would “not be a dominant point” at the summit and that human rights were a “sensitive and delicate issue ... because we are dealing with values.” In a stroke, the EU relegated universal human rights standards to the realm of subjectivity. Predictably, business and security issues dominated the agenda, as they did during Wen’s later visits with British Prime Minister Tony Blair and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, as well as French President Jacques Chirac’s subsequent visit to Beijing.

Similarly, in October the EU’s External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner and Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson urged a “comprehensive reframing” of the EU’s relations with China but never mentioned human rights. Their proposal could be summed up as putting profits ahead of principles.

One area where this lack of pressure on human rights has been felt is internet freedom. With no help from the EU (or, for that matter, the United States) to resist Chinese pressure, internet companies have engaged in a race to the bottom, doing the Chinese government’s dirty work as web censors.

There have been a few bright spots in EU-China relations on human rights. German Chancellor Merkel, in Beijing for her first summit with Chinese leaders, took time out to meet with Chinese activists addressing the problems and unrest of the countryside. Despite Chinese lobbying, the EU resisted lifting its arms embargo on China imposed after the bloody crackdown in Tiananmen Square in 1989—a rare case in which the consensus rules facilitated a strong human rights position because the embargo, originally imposed without an end date, requires a common position to lift. But with China eager to have the embargo ended before the 2008 Olympic Games, the EU still has not articulated the conditions that must be met—such as a transparent and credible investigation into the Tiananmen killings—and thus has squandered a potential source of influence.

On Russia

EU policy toward Russia is dominated by Germany, which will assume the EU presidency in the first half of 2007. Berlin’s new Ostpolitik reflects an apparent determination to engage at any cost, with no strings attached. As Russia’s most important and respected interlocutor, the German government squanders its influence by seeming to assume that achieving energy security—a major European priority—is incompatible with challenging Russia’s disturbing human rights record. German reluctance to engage critically with the Russian government may also be influenced by feelings of guilt due to the millions of Russians who died because of the German invasion of World War II, although why today’s victims of Russian oppression should suffer because of their ancestors’ plight is never explained. The EU has held semi-annual human rights “consultations” with Russia, also at a low diplomatic level, but human rights have not featured prominently on the broader EU-Russia agenda. As with China, the EU periodically responds to individual cases or events such as the new Russian law on NGOs, but human rights rarely enter the public discourse of senior officials. Atrocities in Chechnya have essentially been forgotten, with no public demands for accountability or even a word on the fate of the “disappeared.”

As during her trip to China, German Chancellor Merkel made a point of visiting Russian human rights defenders at the time of her first summit with President Putin. She has also spoken about the importance of human rights and the rule of law in Russia. But no other European leader matched her statements or gestures, and they were not reflected in any common EU position. France’s President Chirac even awarded Putin the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor. By contrast, on four occasions in 2006, the European Court of Human Rights found Russia responsible for violating the right to life because of the role of Russian troops and their proxies in the forced disappearance of people in Chechnya. European leaders are missing an enormous opportunity presented by these court rulings to press Russia to curb abuses and end impunity.

On the United States

As for the United States, the EU has a mixed record. US detainee operations in Europe made European governments complicit in torture, arbitrary detention, and forced disappearance. Evidence suggests that Poland and Romania allowed the secret detention of “disappeared” suspects on their soil. While the US Congress did nothing to investigate these operations, the European Parliament launched an inquiry. The temporary parliamentary committee (TDIP) found it “utterly implausible” that these activities could have occurred without the knowledge of European intelligence or security services. It found similar official complicity in the apprehension of suspects on European soil and their rendition to governments that systematically torture, while also finding the US Central Intelligence Agency “clearly responsible.” But Poland has stonewalled in the face of revelations of its complicity, refusing to cooperate with various investigations into the secret detention centers.

An Italian court, by contrast, has been more vigorous, issuing arrest warrants for CIA agents and their Italian accomplices who were allegedly responsible for the 2003 abduction of Osama Mustafa Hassan Nasr, known as Abu Omar, and his rendition to torture in Egypt. In November, in what it described as a “natural rotation,” the new government of Prime Minister Romano Prodi replaced the head of the military intelligence services SISMI, who is under investigation for his role in the abduction. But the real test for Italy will be whether the government forwards the court’s extradition requests to the United States, and whether it releases information regarding its possible prior knowledge of the kidnapping.

As for US conduct outside of Europe, the EU has not offered any high-level public comment on the findings of the UN Committee against Torture about US complicity in torture and other abusive interrogation. And it took the EU years—not until the EU-US summit in June 2006—to call collectively for the closure of the US detention facility at Guantanamo Bay. That appeal was preceded by similar ones from Britain, Germany, and Spain. Yet the EU has refused to make the humanitarian gesture of taking in Guantanamo detainees whom the US is willing to release but who cannot be returned to their native lands for fear that they might be tortured there. It was only non-EU member Albania that ultimately agreed to resettle five Uighur detainees who were freed from Guantanamo but could not safely be returned to China, as well as allowing Egyptian, Algerian, and Uzbek detainees.

On Darfur

In addressing the enormous crisis in Darfur, the EU likes to trumpet the funds it has sent to support the underequipped and understaffed African Union force (AMIS). However, it has done little to persuade Khartoum to accept the better equipped and staffed UN protection force that the UN Security Council approved in August. The EU imposed an arms embargo on Sudan during the north-south civil war, but has done nothing to enforce the embargo since the Darfur conflict began. Preferring engagement, EU members have resisted freezing assets and banning travel for senior Sudanese officials responsible for the Darfur slaughters. Far from matching US trade sanctions toward Sudan, the EU has seen its, and particularly France’s, trade with Sudan increase sharply. That Khartoum has made no progress in disarming the murderous Janjaweed militias or holding accountable those responsible for atrocities, as the EU and UN have demanded, has done nothing to spur the EU to a more vigorous response.

Part of the problem is that Britain and France, as permanent members of the UN Security Council, have insisted that EU policy on Darfur be set in New York rather than Brussels. To its credit, the EU—especially Germany and France—played the key role in the Security Council’s establishment of a commission of inquiry to examine atrocities in Darfur and the later referral of Darfur to the International Criminal Court. But the important task of achieving justice for victims is no substitute for immediate action to stop today’s murder, rape, and forced displacement. As for enlisting others to pressure Khartoum, the EU raised Darfur with China in advance of the China-Africa summit in November 2006, and German Chancellor Merkel discussed Darfur in her meetings with Chinese and Russian leaders, but the effort to enlist China and Russia in pressing Khartoum to accept a UN protection force and reverse its brutal policies in Darfur has not been sufficiently sustained or intensive to make a difference on the ground, where Khartoum and its Janjaweed proxies persist in attacking civilians with impunity.

On Other Human Rights Issues

There are many other countries where the EU has dropped the ball on human rights. Sometimes business interests have played an important role.

  • In Burma, the EU provides assistance to the democracy movement in exile. It is also a critic of the Burmese government and has imposed limited sanctions. However, several EU members—Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands—have sizeable trade and investment interests in Burma, a disturbing fact given the Burmese military’s use of forced labor in many sectors of the economy. At a time when Burma’s neighbors have become outspoken critics, many powerful EU states are relatively passive. EU countries even saw fit to invite the Burmese foreign minister to the Asia-Europe (ASEM) summit in September.
  • In Thailand, the EU responded firmly to the military coup in September 2006 that overthrew Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. But during Thaksin’s five-year tenure, the EU expressed concern only quietly about deteriorating rights conditions—including some 2,500 extrajudicial executions in Thaksin’s war on drugs, the suppression of media freedom, abrutal counter-insurgency in the south, and the downgrading of refugee protection. Meanwhile, the EU sought a free trade agreement with Thailand. 
  • In the Middle East, the EU, which has human rights clauses in its trade and cooperation agreements with most countries, should have played a more active role on human rights. The main exception has been its support for an international investigation into the 2005 car-bombing murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
  • In Ethiopia, the EU strongly protested government abuses in the course of the hotly contested 2005 elections in Ethiopia. It also backed those words with some action, withholding or re-channeling more than US$375 million in direct multilateral budget support to the Ethiopian government. However, there has been no visible EU follow-up in addressing Ethiopia’s continuing major human rights problems such as the repression of political opponents and the beating, rape, and extrajudicial killing of members of the Anuak ethnic group in the Gambella region of Ethiopia.
  • The EU played a positive role in pressing Nigeria to surrender former Liberian President Charles Taylor for trial before the Special Court for Sierra Leone, based on charges that he committed war crimes and crimes against humanity by supporting the murderous Revolutionary United Front in Sierra Leone. But when the Special Court for Sierra Leone asked that the trial be moved to The Hague because of security concerns associated with Taylor’s being held in Freetown—a concern seconded by Liberia—the EU dawdled. The International Criminal Court promptly offered its facilities, and the Netherlands agreed on the condition that another government commit to detain Taylor if convicted. But at a time of potential instability in West Africa, Taylor’s transfer was held up for weeks while the EU sought such a government. Britain finally stepped forward.
  • The government of Tunisia, intolerant of any entity that criticizes its record, has for years blocked a series of grants that the EU approved to the independent Tunisian Human Rights League, as well as grants that the EU wishes to make to other independent organizations. Yet the EU has failed to publicly protest this ongoing practice except in the mildest terms.

None of this is to deny that sometimes the EU plays a positive role, especially when it comes to fielding operational missions.

  • It has played a key part in forging a peace agreement in Aceh and mobilizing a monitoring team, although it has not pressed the Indonesian government to leave open the option of bringing those responsible for atrocities during the war to justice.
  • A European force sent to the Democratic Republic of Congo in advance of the October 2006 elections provided an important boost to the efforts of the UN peacekeeping force ­to maintain security, although Germany’s insistence on bringing soldiers home for Christmas risked reducing troop strength at a time when political tensions over disputed election results remained high. The risks were underscored by a new revolt in eastern Congo at the end of November 2006.
  • In October 2006 a European Parliament committee rejected a proposal put forward by the European Commission for an interim trade agreement with Turkmenistan, stressing that the parliament would approve such an agreement only when “clear, tangible, and sustained progress on the human rights situation is achieved” in Turkmenistan.
  • Six thousand EU troops keep the peace in Bosnia, where the EU is expected to take sole responsibility for a scaled-down international civilian presence in mid-2007.
  • In Kosovo, the EU is planning to take the lead in the international civilian mission that is expected to deploy in 2007 when the territory’s status is determined. Its focus will include justice and policing.  

Similarly, the EU can be a strong force for human rights through the accession process, where the requirement of unanimity for action tends to raise the bar for the candidate state—since any EU member can object that the candidate has not done enough to improve its human rights record—rather than stymie the projection of EU influence. That positive influence was felt most forcefully over the past year in the Balkans, notwithstanding Brussels’s failure to focus sufficiently on domestic accountability for war crimes in the region. In the recent past, it has been felt in Turkey as well, although the increasing reluctance of several EU governments to admit Turkey on any terms has now undermined much of the power of the stated human rights criteria for accession.

But these positive exceptions do not substitute for the lack of policy coherence that handicaps the EU’s response to some of the most important human rights challenges of our time. Finding a firmer and more consistent voice on human rights is essential if the EU is to play a much-needed global leadership role.

On Human Rights at Home

Policy on human rights issues within the EU has been particularly disappointing when it comes to the treatment of migrants and asylum seekers. The EU’s determination to stem the flow of migrants at all costs has led it to ignore migrants’ rights and narrow their right to seek asylum in Europe from persecution in their homelands. In January 2006, the Asylum Procedures Directive entered into force with its requirement that all member-states turn back asylum seekers from an EU list of “safe countries of origin.” Lack of consensus about which countries should figure on the list—many of the proposed ones offer dubious safety—has so far held up implementation, but several member-states already follow their own national lists of safe countries.

In its effort to “internationalize” migration management, the EU has allied itself with repressive regimes such as Libya, a launching pad for thousands of migrants seeking protection and work in Europe. Libya-EU cooperation on migration is one-dimensional, focusing exclusively on blocking access to Europe, with little concern for the rights or refugee claims of migrants. On the eastern border, the EU signed a readmission agreement with the Ukraine in October requiring it to readmit third-country nationals seeking protection in the EU, despite continuing concerns about Ukraine’s abusive detention practices and barely functioning asylum system. The two-year “grace period” before such returns commence is hardly enough time to set the Ukraine’s beleaguered system right. Spain, which in 2006 received the lion’s share of arrivals by sea, is pursuing readmission agreements with countries such as Senegal and Mauritania.

Most EU governments appropriately address terrorism offenses through the normal criminal justice system, but their cutting away at procedural guarantees for terrorism suspects risks damaging the entire edifice of the rule of law. The UK passed a law that increased pre-charge detention from 14 to 28 days, and is debating whether to try again to increase it to 90 days. The Netherlands, in pending counterterrorism legislation, is poised to increase its pre-charge detention from three to 14 days. As of January 2006, terrorism suspects in France may be held up to six days in police custody with extremely limited access to counsel while police interrogators can question detainees at will.

Some EU members seek to avoid criminal prosecutions at home by deporting or extraditing terror suspects, often to places where they are at risk of torture. The UK has insisted on detaining suspects without charge and attempting to send them back to countries such as Libya and Jordan on the basis of flimsy promises of humane treatment from those governments. It justifies this breach of international law as necessary to fight terrorism, yet it has not empowered its prosecutors to introduce court-authorized wiretap evidence at trial—one of only two Western democracies (the other being Ireland) to take this extreme view. The British government has never explained why the sacrifice of fundamental rights should be considered before widely accepted law enforcement tools are even tried.

The Netherlands continues to seek to extradite certain terrorism suspects to Turkey, based on similarly unreliable promises against ill-treatment. Other governments, including Switzerland, are now poised to adopt this dubious practice. It is ironic that while the European Parliament rightly investigates European complicity in CIA renditions to countries presenting a risk of torture, some EU member-states have embraced transfers to similar countries as a counterterrorism measure at home.