The IHRC is of the view that in its approach to â€˜extraordinary renditionâ€™, the Irish State is not complying with its human rights obligations to prevent torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Its reliance on the assurances of the US Government is not enough. In order to ensure full compliance with its human rights obligations, the Irish State should put in place a reliable and independently verifiable system of inspection so that no prisoner is ever transported through this country except in accordance with proper legal formalities and the highest observance of human rights standards. In the absence of such a system of inspection, it is impossible for any ordinary citizen to gain evidence regarding such activity or to ascertain with any level of confidence whether such illegal activity is taking place in the State.
The Irish Human Rights Commission (homepage) this week released a report entitled ‘Extraordinary Renditions: A Review of Ireland’s Human Rights Obligations’ (pdf). The Report is essentially a response to the Irish government’s decision that it would not carry out random searches of US planes stopping over in Shannon Airport because it had received diplomatic assurances that these planes were not carrying any prisoners who were being extraordinarily rendered. The following excerpt from the Executive Summary concisely outlines the IHRC’s approach: