After the terrorist attack on the September 11, 2001, USA began with even more intensive prosecution of terrorist suspects, especially members of the terrorist organisation Al-Qaida. USA began with the war on terror. It established the Rendition Programme, led by the CIA. The terrorist suspects were detained in the CIA black sites, where they were subject to enhanced and unauthorised interrogation techniques.
It was not until many years after the extraordinary renditions took place on the European soil, when the first cases of the CIA rendition programme appeared in front of the European Court of Human Rights. The programme is supposed to violate vital articles of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. The most controversial elements of extraordinary rendition are interrogation techniques, which can amount to torture and arbitrary incommunicado secret detention, also known as enforced disappearance.
In the context of extraordinary rendition, the ECtHR established that Contracting States, which know or ought to know at the relevant time, that the foreign agents violate the human rights of a person on its territory, but remained passive or even actively cooperated with CIA, are therefore responsible for those violations. The sending states are as well responsible for the violation of the ECHR, by enabling the CIA to remove an applicant from its territory, where there were substantial grounds for believing, that if removed from the Contracting State, an applicant would be exposed to a real risk of being subject to a flagrant breach of human rights or treatment contrary to the Convention.
The Contracting States did not carry out an effective and thorough investigation and did not avail an effective remedy before a national authority, capable of leading to the identification and punishment of those responsible and to an award of compensation. In the proceedings in front of the Court, the Contracting States inovked state secrecy or illustrated wrong course of events.
In the cases of extraordinary rendition, the Court found that the Contracting States, which actively or passively cooperated in the CIA rendition programme, are responsible for the violation of Articles 3, 5, 8 and 13 in the conjunction with Articles 3, 5 and 8 of the Convention. In the cases where terrorist suspects were further transferred to the Guantanamo Bay, respondent states violated the first paragraph of Article 6 of the Convention. The Court also further held that the Contracting States violate Articles 2 and 3 taken together with Article 1 of Protocol No. 6 of the Convention, by allowing the transfer of an applicant to a foreign country, when there was a substantial and foreseeable risk that an applicant could be subject to death penalty. In the cases, where states requested and received diplomatic assurances, the Court dismissed applicants` Article 3 claims.
The decisions of the Court in the given cases of the extraordinary rendition are coherent with the jurisprudence of the Court.