Saturday, 24th June, saw a day of protest at 5 British airports (Glasgow, Prestwick, Edinburgh, Gatwick and Birmingham International) against the so-called rendition flights, used by the CIA to secretly and illegally transport 'terror suspects' arrested or kidnapped around the world for 'interrogation' in other countries, where torture of prisoners is practiced. The protests were supported by Birmingham Guantanamo Campaign, Scotland Against Criminalising Communities, Save Omar Deghayes Campaign and Edinburgh Stop The War Coalition. The 5 are among tens of British and European airports where CIA-owned or chartered jets have been logged.
In Birmingham, about 20 people took part in a vigil on the A45 outside Birmingham International Airport to "demand action to put a stop to the CIA's torture flights". They were later joined by people from Oxford and Coventry. In Edinburgh, the protest involved about 35 people from different campaigns. Banners and placards read "Stop the torture flights", "Stop the War". In both cases, activists were dressed up in orange jump suits, worn by detainees in Guantanamo, and shackled and handcuffed. Similar protests took place at Glasgow, Gatwick and Prestwick airports.
The UK and other EU governments have repeatedly dnied any knowledge of such flights, despite the mounting evidence of their complicity. A report by the Council of Europe's rapporteur, Dick Marty, said European governments, including Britain, were complicit in these abuses. The report was debated by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on 27 June. [the report in pdf]
Read more: El-Masri suing CIA for flight to prison | List of CIA torture planes | CIA's secret jails | CIA aircraft flying into Scotland | Europe knew | Europe's agreement
Amnesty International's report | Liberty's page on extraordinary rendition.
A45 near Birmingham Airport, Saturday 24 June, 2006