Cuba tells EU end "complicity" on CIA flights


GENEVA (Reuters) - Cuba on Tuesday called on the European Union (EU) to end a "silent complicity" under which it said the bloc had allowed secret CIA flights to transport terror suspects to detention centres in Europe for interrogation.

Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque, in a speech to the United Nations Human Rights Council, also accused the United States of running a "concentration camp" at its Guantanamo naval base on Cuba, where some 460 people are being held.

The new Geneva forum, which replaces the widely-discredited U.N. Human Rights Commission, opened its first session on Monday amid calls by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan and others to avoid the finger-pointing and political point-scoring of old.

Cuba awaited a "rectification to the silent complicity" with which it said the EU had allowed hundreds of secret flights by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) carrying "kidnapped people and the establishment of clandestine prisons right on European soil, where prisoners are tortured and harassed", Perez said.

"So far, the European Union has hypocritically hindered the investigation and the clarification of these events," he added.

A Council of Europe investigator, Swiss Dick Marty, said earlier this month that more than 20 mostly European nations had colluded in a "global spider's web" of secret CIA jails and flight transfers of terrorist suspects stretching from Asia to Guantanamo Bay.

The United States -- which has maintained a stance of neither denying nor confirming the allegations -- chose not to stand last month for election to the new U.N. rights watchdog, but has said it may do so next year.

Perez also accused the EU of having lobbied unsuccessfully at Washington's behest against Havana winning a seat on the new 47-member body.

"The absence of the United States is the defeat of lies; it is the moral punishment for the haughtiness of an empire," Perez said.