[Ppnews] Further Investigation of “Torture Taxi” Operation

Political Prisoner News PPnews at freedomarchives.org
Thu Jan 5 08:54:37 EST 2006


Trial Thursday in Johnston County, NC

Further Investigation of "Torture Taxi" Operation

A group of citizens from Illinois, Missouri and North Carolina will come
together to take part in a number of actions this week in North Carolina to
continue their efforts to expose the "torture taxi" operations of Aero
Contractors.  They will call on Michael F. Easley, the Governor of North
Carolina, to take action to shut down the company's illegal activities at
two North Carolina locations.

On November 18, 2005, the group, Stop Torture Now served a peoples'
indictment to Aero Contractors, charging them with multiple counts of
violation of U.S. and international laws and treaties banning torture by
providing pilots and planes for the CIA's program of "extraordinary

In December, the ACLU filed a civil suit on behalf of a German citizen,
Khaled el-Masri, who was kidnapped by the United States and flown to
Afghanistan where he was tortured before being released.  Aero Contractors
was named in the suit.

In November, 14 members of the group were arrested at Aero's hangar at the
Johnston County airport near Smithfield, NC, while serving the indictment.
They will stand trial on Thursday, January 5, at 9AM on trespass charges.
Two expert witnesses, The Rev. W.W. "Bill" Finlator, a long-time advocate of
civil rights, and Daniel Pollitt, a University of North Carolina at Chapel
Hill law professor emeritus will appear on the defendants' behalf.

Following Thursday's trial, the group will caravan to Aero's hangar where
they will hold a press conference and request access to Aero's property in
order to inspect the company's flight records and to take depositions from

At the press conference the group will announce its plans to take the
campaign against Aero's torture taxi one step further by delivering copies
of the indictment to the Governor of North Carolina and other state
officials who serve on the board of Global TransPark Authority in Kinston,
NC, where Aero operates a second hangar.  The Kinston site houses Aero's
Boeing 737 business jet which plane spotters and flight logs have linked to
many of the "extraordinary rendition" flights that have delivered suspects
to various detention centers, including U.S. secret prisons in Europe

On Friday, January 6, Stop Torture Now will travel to Global TransPark in
Kinston where they will draw the public's attention to the Aero operation
and make further requests to inspect the company's flight records and to
take statements from employees.

Stop Torture Now is a project of the Center for Theology and Social Analysis
in St. Louis, MO.  Participants in this week's actions include members of
CTSA as well as members of two Catholic Worker communities in North Carolina
and Kathy Kelly, founder of Voices in the Wilderness

A copy of the indictment and further details about this week's actions can
be found on the Stop Torture Now website:


Further information about the North Carolina Global Trans-Park and its board
of directors can be found on their website:

Further information about the ACLU law suit can be found on their website:

For further information about specific times and locations of this week's
call 314-249-7890.

The Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 863-9977
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