Irish should take a stand against rendition

WE are delighted that Irish people in general do not appear to accept the 'extraordinary rendition' of people held by the US authorities in their 'war on terror.'

However, we are very disturbed by the lack of response from the Government, and in particular the Minister for Justice, on this issue.

Torture should be denounced as a completely unacceptable method of extracting information by any free and democratic society.

Apart from being a notoriously bad way of eliciting accurate information (people who have undergone torture frequently report they would willingly sign their names to anything rather than continue to be tortured), it is a reprehensible practice used to degrade and demoralise people, whether or not they are guilty of the crimes of which they are accused.

Ireland has the capacity and the international standing to take a strong moral stand against this. In order to maintain its international credibility in a world where morality seems to be fast becoming an outmoded concept, the Irish people should not be seen passively to condone such practices.

There is a strong possibility that people are being moved through Ireland en route to countries where torture facilities are available. If the Government has nothing to hide, why not allow inspectors onto the US planes passing through Shannon, so we can be reassured that such things are not happening? The Government's unwillingness to clarify what is going on at Shannon airport casts a shadow of suspicion over its real intentions.

Denis Quinlan

on behalf of

Schull Amnesty Group

Schull

Co Cork

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