The Irish police authorities have been strongly criticised by anti-war groups for rejecting requests to search recent flights suspected of being used in torture and rendition for the CIA that go through Shannon Airport.
The Clare Herald reports that two aircraft went through Shannon Airport in recent days after official requests for them to be searched were denied by police.
The two flights that went through Shannon were the Gates Learjet 36's (registration N71PG and N54PA) and are known to have visited the US military interrogation and detention centre at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba a number of times in the past, according to The Clare Herald.
Both flights visited Shannon Airport last Tuesday while one (the N71PG) “passed through the airport, under the cover of darkness, as recently as Friday morning.” Fears from anti-war activist groups are that the flights have been long used for rendition for the US military and CIA. Rendition is the term used for the transfer of individuals from one country to another by means that bypass all judicial and administrative due process.
Dr. Edward Horgan, a popular anti-war activist, said, "Shannonwatch peace activists have carried out extensive research into suspicious aircraft believed to be associated with the CIA torture rendition programme, and our research indicates that aircraft such as N54PA and N71PG have played an active part in this programme called ‘extraordinary rendition.’
"I went to Shannon garda station on Wednesday night,” added Dr. Horgan, “and asked that N54PA be searched and its crew investigated for possible involvement in past rendition flights. I made this request to a Sergeant and he gave me the usual response as to whether I had any concrete evidence of any crimes.
I made the usual response that it was his job to investigate and collect any such concrete evidence.” A spokesman for Shannon gardai said that the “complainants had no evidence to support the request” thus forcing it to be rejected.
While Amnesty International has confirmed that Ireland, and Shannon Airport in particular, has been used by the CIA to facilitate such “extraordinary renditions,” the Irish government insists that it "has in the past sought and received assurances from US authorities and we have no reason to doubt those assurances.
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