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Where are secret jails, the EU demands

Alec Russell / London Telegraph | September 8 2006

European politicians yesterday called on Washington to reveal the sites of the CIA's secret prisons after President George W Bush's admission that terrorist prisoners had been held in clandestine foreign jails.

As Mr Bush hit the road to sell Wednesday's revelation of the "black sites" to the American public as a victory for his anti-terrorist policies, European politicians stepped up the pressure for further details.

"The location of these prison camps must be made public," said Wolfgang Kreissl-Dörfler, a member of the European Parliament's committee investigating the CIA's alleged use of sites in Eastern Europe. "We need to know if there has been any complicity in illegal acts by governments of EU countries or of states seeking EU membership."

Allegations that the CIA held and tortured terrorist suspects in secret Eastern European prisons provoked fury in Europe last year and intensified already virulent anti-Americanism.

But in America the debate has been more muted and yesterday, far from being cowed or contrite as many European politicians expected, Mr Bush sought to capitalise on the impact of his statement.

In a speech in Atlanta, the latest in a series building up to Monday's anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, he argued that he had made America safer than it was five years ago. And in an address on Wednesday he said 14 top al-Qa'eda figures had been transferred from the secret prisons to Guantanamo Bay awaiting trial.

Mr Bush is hoping to secure the future of the Guantanamo Bay detention centre by getting Congress to approve a law authorising the tribunals.

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