Amnesty International gives Derry City Airport the “all clear” on rendition flights

Amnesty International researchers have given Derry City Airport the “all-clear” over accusations that rendition flights landed there, after Amnesty Foyle group members were given access to flight records.

Derry City Airport had been named as one of the European airports where planes known to have been used by the CIA have been re-fuelled.

The Gulfstream private jets, which refuelled in Derry, had previously been identified as flights possibly used for “extraordinary rendition”. It is known that these jets had previously been used by the CIA, but are also available for private hire for business and leisure purposes.

The planes landed at Derry City Airport in September 2001 and May 2005 but, from the information recently supplied to Amnesty by the airport, these flights appear to have been legitimate private charters.

Amnesty International Northern Ireland Programme Director Patrick Corrigan said:

“Thanks to the full cooperation of Derry City Airport we have been able to show that, as far as we can tell from the information provided, the airport has not been used in extraordinary rendition flights.

Bridget Meehan, chairperson of Amnesty International Foyle Group, which obtained the information from Derry City Airport, said:

“We wish to applaud Derry City Council for their support for Amnesty’s campaign to end rendition flights. Amnesty now calls on the Council to continue their support by backing our demand to the UK and Irish governments that they hold public enquiries into the use of domestic airspace and airports for these torture flights.”

One of the jets which landed at Derry City Airport, a Gulfstream IV plane (registration N85VM-N227SV), which Amnesty has reported to have been used by the CIA to transport kidnapped detainees to the Middle East, is also known to have refuelled at Belfast International Airport.

Ends

For media information:

Fionna Smyth, communications officer, Amnesty International: 028 9064 3000 / 07738 369600

Bridget Meehan, chairperson, Amnesty International Foyle Group: 07779 797789

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