European court: Romania, Lithuania hosted CIA secret jails


BUCHAREST: The European Court of Human Rights ruled Thursday that Romania and Lithuania allowed the detention and abuse of a Saudi and a Palestinian at secret US prisons.
The Strasbourg, France-based court said Thursday that Abd al-Rahim Al Nashiri, a Saudi national later sent to Guantanamo Bay, was detained and abused in Romania between Sept. 2003 and Oct. 2005, and urged Romania to investigate and punish perpetrators.
Romania denies hosting such CIA facilities. There was no immediate reaction from the government.
Al Nashiri’s lawyer, Amrit Singh, called the ruling “a sharp rebuke to Romania’s shameful attempts” to conceal its hosting of a secret CIA prison.
The court also said that Lithuania hosted a secret CIA detention facility from February 2005 to March 2006 where Abu Zubaydah, a Palestinian suspected of being a planner for the Sept. 11 attacks, was detained.
It ruled that Lithuania allowed him to be moved to another CIA detention site in Afghanistan, “exposing him to further ill-treatment.” He is currently detained at Guantanamo Bay.
Lithuanian authorities said they would consider appealing the court’s decision and may also investigate the claims again.
Justice Minister Elvinas Jankevicius told reporters that “we will take a decision after carefully examining,” the ruling. Vytautas Bakas, the chairman of the parliamentary committee for national security and defense, said he would propose opening a new probe.
A 2009 investigation in Lithuania concluded that Lithuania’s intelligence agency helped the CIA set up two small detention centers in the Baltic country, but did not determine whether the facilities were actually used in the interrogation of terrorism suspects.