Anti-terror treaty hits human rights

AS Irish citizens and members of a local branch of Amnesty International, we are extremely concerned about reports highlighting a bilateral agreement that the Minister for Justice has signed with the US to combat terrorism.to combat terrorism.

He has, without recourse to due political process, given the US, through their agents, permission to act as a secret service here by giving them a free hand to:

* Interrogate suspected terrorists in secret.

* Remove from, and convey through, Irish soil suspected terrorists, and take them to a country where torture and the death penalty are an accepted practice.

We consider such acts to be a gross infringement of basic human rights. We ask on whose behalf Mr McDowell has signed this agreement and where was the democratic process in pursuing such a course of action if no debate had taken place in the Oireachtas.

Of concern also is the ongoing use of Shannon airport by the US military and the alleged use of such a facility to perpetrate the acts outlined above. We understand that the DPP has received two files on this matter, but has failed to act on them.

Such inactivity is an embarrassment, particularly when the UN Commission on Human Rights has expressed an interest in these allegations as part of an international inquiry into ways in which counter-terrorism operations around the world may breach human rights. We request that these issues be addressed in the current Dáil session.

Aisling Meath, Eberhardt Beub, Elspeth Beub, Denis Quinlan, Shirley Foster, Pat Bracken, Joan Giller Zigfried Fiedler Eric Haugaard.

Main Street

Schull

Co Cork

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