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Shannon Peace activists Niall Farrell and Margaretta D'arcy as they attempt to block the runway of Shannon Airport, Sunday October 7, 2012. Niall Carson/PA Wire/Press Association Images
Shannon Airport

'Legal violations' caused by US military and CIA use of Shannon Airport outlined in new booklet

Irish peace groups have outlined the “aviation, human rights, and international humanitarian law” which are being violated by the use of the airport by foreign military.

THE USE OF Shannon Airport by US military is violating aviation, human rights, and international law, according to a new booklet being published by peace groups today.

The booklet, being launched at Buswell’s Hotel in Dublin this morning, outlines a number of legal instruments allegedly being violated as a result of US military and CIA use of Shannon – and also highlights the “ongoing failure to respect Ireland’s history of neutrality”.

John Lannon, the booklet’s author, says the use of Shannon Airport has contributed to suffering and human rights abuse for over a decade: “The consistent disregard for national and international laws has meant that Shannon has been directly involved in the suffering and death of innocent people – from men tortured in Guantanamo Bay, to children in Afghanistan who are injured or orphaned by airstrikes and roadside bombs.”

Lannon noted that, during 2012, the number of troops passing through Shannon declined – but says the Irish government has still not taken steps to end the US military use of Irish airports and airspace, and calls the use of Shannon Airport to support the US occupation of a foreign state  ”indefensible”.

Lannon also raised concerns about the “likelihood” that Shannon could be involved in US drone attacks in Pakistan and other parts of the world.

The new booklet outlines four key areas in which the Irish authorities are deemed to be inefficient:

  • The application of aviation law in relation to the transportation of munitions of war and other explosive substances
  • Suspected breaches of international and European human rights law, as well as domestic Irish law, in relation to known and suspected involvement in rendition
  • Possible breaches of international humanitarian law
  • Policy and practice relating to the concept of Irish neutrality

“At the end of 2011 the Fine Gael/Labour Party government made a commitment in their Programme for Government to enforce the prohibition on the use of Irish airspace, airports and related facilities for purposes not in line with the dictates of international law,” said Lannon. “To date they have done nothing to implement their promise, and as a result Shannon Airport is still being used in contravention of international law.”

The booklet, “Shannon Airport, War and Renditions”, has been jointly published by Shannonwatch, the Peace and Neutrality Alliance (PANA) and the Irish Anti-War Movement (IAWM).

Read: Over 1,100 planes carrying military arms landed at Shannon Airport in 2011>

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