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Scotland wants no part in extraordinary rendition

Press Release from Dr Bill Wilson MSP
2 July 2008

Dr Bill Wilson, SNP MSP for the West of Scotland, announced today that he met Kenny MacAskill, the Cabinet Secretary for Justice, yesterday to hand over a petition addressed to members of the Scottish Parliament asking them to "keep torture flights out of Scotland".

Despite receiving practically no publicity in the media, the petition, organised by Scotland Against Criminalising Communities (SACC), had six hundred signatories. Dr Wilson said that he had recently hosted an open meeting in the Scottish Parliament at the request of SACC at which the use of Scottish airports by planes involved in rendition flights was discussed: "There were representatives of both the SNP and Labour parties present, and I received a notice of interest from the Greens, so I would like to think that this is an issue on which there could be cross-party agreement."

Dr Wilson further commented, "I have previously spoken out against rendition. That planes involved in rendition flights have used Scottish airports in the past is beyond dispute. I realise that the Scottish Government has no jurisdiction over international affairs but I encouraged the Justice Secretary to examine ways in which Scotland might make its opposition to torture and the other breaches of human rights associated with the appalling practice of rendition clear."

Banning rendition flights through Wick?

"Mr MacAskill undertook to give the petition serious consideration and also said that he would be speaking to the Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change, Stewart Stevenson, about what might be done at Wick Airport.

"Derry Airport, in Northern Ireland, has banned rendition flights from refuelling and as Wick Airport in Scotland falls under government jurisdiction I think it might be possible to do the same there."

Dr Wilson concluded by saying, "Rendition is wrong from every point of view: it breaches human rights; it makes it unclear just what values our civilisation stands for; information obtained under torture is unreliable and it gives others good reason to hate us, potentially fuelling terrorism rather than reducing it. For all these reasons I hope that Scotland will be able to do something to make its opposition to rendition apparent."

Notes to Editors

  1. Dr Wilson’s previous press releases on this subject
    Establishment of CIAWATCH welcomed by MSP: "No 'extraordinary rendition' planes on Scottish soil!"
  2. MSP Praises Foreign Office Whistleblower, Condemns Rendition Flights.
  3. "UK Government Flouts Civil Liberties, Not Fit To Be Trusted With ID Cards" says MSP