Simultaneous protests target Scottish airports over torture flights


Scottish Socialist Party MSP's took part in a series of co-ordinated protests at 4 Scottish airports against CIA torture flights, or extraordinary rendition, on Sunday 18th December along with campaigners and other MSP's.

Protests took place at Glasgow, Edinburgh, Prestwick and Inverness airports at 12 noon on Sunday and will include the releasing of 176 balloons emblazoned with the CIA logo and "CIA fly above the law" to symbolise the number of CIA flights which have landed at Scottish airports, without the prior knowledge or consent of the Scottish people.

The protests come in the lead up to a Scottish Parliament debate on the CIA flights on Thursday 22nd December.

Campaigners are disappointed at the refusal of Scottish police chiefs to investigate these flights. They believe that there are more than reasonable grounds for suspicion that criminal acts are being committed in Scotland's jurisdiction and that the Scottish police should uphold their legal duty to
investigate, without regard to any political embarrassment that may be caused.

Scottish National Party justice spokesman Kenny MacAskill said the Scottish Executive had "stood idly by" while prisoners were transported through Scotland.

"This is fundamentally a political and not a police matter, and so it requires a political will to end it," he said.

SSP national convenor Colin Fox said; "U.S. denials that their regime traffics terrorist suspects for the purpose of torturing them, are based on an Orwellian redefinition of torture, which excludes techniques that most civilised people would regard as torture. It is an outrage that the UK Government accepts these denials.

"We have no reason to believe Condaleeza Rice, George Bush, Tony Blair, or Jack Straw on the issue of torture. We have been lied to before, for example, about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and the infamous 45 minute claim and we were lied to about the presence of Al Qaeda in Iraq. 

"The Scottish people are not going to follow others into the murky depths of history, claiming that they didn't know what was being done in their name.

"It beggars belief that people against whom there is insufficient evidence to mount a legal prosecution, are allegedly being abducted all over the world by CIA agents, subdued and loaded into planes, then flown to countries where they may be tortured. We in the SSP are deeply ashamed that some of these alleged torture-trafficking flights have refueled at Scottish airports.

"It is disgraceful that workers at Scottish airports are being put in the position of perhaps facilitating torture, because the Scottish Executive, the UK Government and Scottish Police Chiefs have so far refused to act."



December 2005

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