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Lithuania 2015/2016

An investigation continued at the national level into allegations that Lithuania hosted a secret site for the CIA where detainees were tortured. A decision on a related case was pending at the European Court of Human Rights. Legal gender recognition remained unavailable to transgender people.

Counter-terror and security

Arvydas Anušauskas, a Member of Parliament and former head of a parliamentary committee that had investigated allegations that Lithuania hosted a CIA secret detention facility, publicly stated that a December 2014 report by a US Senate committee “makes a convincing case that prisoners were indeed held at the Lithuanian site”. In January 2015, the NGO Reprieve published a dossier, including new evidence sourced by Reprieve and information from the US Senate report, which concluded “beyond reasonable doubt” that detainees were held in secret CIA detention in Lithuania in 2005 and 2006.

In April, a closed investigation into the secret site allegations was reopened and merged with an ongoing investigation into claims by Saudi Arabian national Mustafa al-Hawsawi that he had been held in secret detention in Lithuania and tortured at some point between 2004 and 2006. The investigation was ongoing at the end of 2015.

In September, final submissions were filed against Lithuania at the European Court of Human Rights in a case brought by Abu Zubaydah, who alleged that he had been held in secret CIA detention in Lithuania between February 2005 and March 2006. The Lithuanian Prosecutor General had refused to investigate the illegal transfer, secret detention and torture of Abu Zubaydah, who remained detained at the US detention facility Guantánamo Bay in Cuba. A final decision by the European Court was pending at the end of the year.

Rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people

Transgender people continued to be denied legal gender recognition because of legislative gaps. At the end of the year, a bill aimed at prohibiting gender reassignment was pending before Parliament.

Several bills on registered partnerships were considered by Parliament. In October, a proposal introduced by the Ministry of Justice on registered partnerships for different-sex couples was rejected by Parliament. The Minister of Justice explicitly opposed registered partnerships for same-sex couples.

At the end of the year, a proposal aimed at banning civil partnerships for all couples and a second proposal to establish civil partnerships for all couples were pending. Several bills aimed at restricting the rights of LGBTI people were under consideration by Parliament.

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Get the Amnesty International Report 2015/16