US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice reacted angrily to the persistent allegations that America was using airports in Europe to ferry and detain suspected Al-Qaeda terrorists in prisons located in former East European states. Condi Rice now on a tour of Europe denied torturing the suspected terrorists saying US will not do anything which is against law.
BBC, however, said that US has admitted holding terrorists at prisons in East Europe. Condi Rice blasted critics in Europe saying that the critics must realise the fact that interrogation by US intelligence network has yielded information which helped Europe to thwart many terrorists attacks. Condoleeza Rice who is seen here as a possible Republican party candidate to stand against Democratic party nominee Hillary Clinton in the presidential election in 2008 firmly stated that 'US has not transported detainees from one country to another for the purpose of interrogation using torture'.
The United Nations and European Union have been critical of US holding detainees and applying torture on them to extract confessions. The news of torture at Abu Graihb, Guantanamo Bay and now in secret places in East Europe have hugely tarnished American image. US is the greatest votary of civil right, democracy, transparency and all such loftly ideals.
Condi Rice's condemnation of Europe has not pacified anger. US has been blamed for 'outsourcing' terrorists. US ties with many European countries have strained over Washington's policy of unilateralism particularly its choice of attacking Iraq without the UN approval. United States wanted to repair its bilateral ties with Germany. Europe continues to investigate whether US used some of the states in the continent to detain and torture terrorists. Europe is perhaps not buying what Condi Rice is saying. Vice-President Dick Cheney's stiff opposition to prevent ruling party member John MaCain's proposed law banning torturing of prisoners has not gone well here. Dick Cheney wants to keep CIA out of the mischief of the law. He wants to legalise torture by the CIA.
The White House efforts at persuading John MaCain to exempt the CIA from legislation banning torture of prisoners held in US custody is waning. China, in the meanwhile, has strongly denied perpetrating torture on the dissidents, a conclusion drawn by an UN report. China has demanded a revision of the UN report before it is made public.
United Nations special rapporteur on torture presented the summary of his findings blaming Chinese police, prison guards and judicial officials for relying on torture to extract confessions. The UN rapporteur Manfred Nowak complained that he was constantly shadowed by the Chinese police and intimidated the persons whom he wanted to interview.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman denounced the UN report and said' China cannot accept the conclusion that torture is widespread'. Spokesman denied rapporteur's claim that he was prevented from doing his job by any Chinese official.
United Nations has fired Ms Carina Parelli chief of the Electoral Assistance Division on charges of sexual harassment and abuse of authority. Parelli will challenge her dismissal. Parelli's latest assignment was overseeing elections in Iraq which is due this month. John Bolton US ambassador at the UN criticised the timing of Paralli's dismissal week before elections in Iraq. UN secretary general Kofi Annan's spokesman said the dismissal would not affect the December 15 elections in Iraq.. He said her duties were transferred to Craig Jenness, a Canadian diplomat on Oct 23. Paralli is from Uruguay and was made election division chief in 1998. President Bush praised him by name in his last state of the union address. She was praised for helping fair and honest elections in East Timor, Afghanistan and Iraq.
Ms Parelli was accused of abusive style of leadership, favouritism and for creation of an atmosphere where sexual innuendo became part of the electoral division of the UN.