UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who has covered Washington during all or part of one quarter of America's presidencies and edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review has been on the web since 1995. See main page for full contents

May 10, 2009

SWEDES KNEW ABOUT CIA TORTURE FLIGHTS

The Local, Sweden - The government led by former Prime Minister Goran Persson knew that Sweden was used as a transit destination for clandestine CIA flights transporting suspected terrorists, according to a report in the Expressen newspaper. The Swedish defence forces conducted a secret surveillance operation in 2005 monitoring a US government plane at Stockholm Arlanda Airport.

"The assignment to carry out this operation came from the defence ministry to the defence forces," according to an Expressen source who confirmed that the Swedish government harbored suspicions that the CIA was using so-called rendition flights to force people out of the USA against their will.

The surveillance team confirmed these suspicions and found that the CIA plane was filled with chained prisoners clad with black hoods and unable to move, the newspaper reports, citing several independent anonymous sources.

The Swedish defence forces confirmed to the newspaper that the surveillance operation took place.

"We have inspected the plane but make no further comment," Roger MagnergÄrd, press officer at the Swedish defence forces, said to Expressen.

There is however no record of any formal protest lodged by the Swedish government to the US authorities.

Laila Freivalds, the Swedish foreign minister at the time, told the TT news agency in 2006 that the government was unaware of any CIA-backed activity in Sweden.

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