Amnesty International has demanded that the garda siochána (Irish police force) inspect Shannon-bound planes chartered by the CIA. The human rights organization responded to reports that CIA planes may be transporting terrorist suspects to destinations across Europe for detention and torture.
A number of CIA aircraft that frequently stop at Shannon have been sighted in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. None of the CIA planes has ever been searched. If the allegations were found to be true, the planes would be in breach of Ireland’s neutrality policy.
Minister for Foreign Affairs Dermot Ahern told opponents that he raised the issue with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and he accepted her assurance that no prisoners were captive aboard the planes. However, the issue has gained wider publicity in Europe where the U.S. secretary may need to provide more convincing evidence of what these planes are used for.♦