Annual Report 2013
The state of the world's human rights

21 October 2011

Lithuania blocking the truth about CIA Secret Prisons

Lithuania blocking the truth about CIA Secret Prisons

The Lithuanian authorities must reconsider a decision not to re-open an investigation into CIA secret prisons on Lithuanian territory, Amnesty International said today.

The announcement by the country’s Prosecutor General comes just weeks after Amnesty International issued a report with new information about extraordinary rendition flights into Lithuania during the time the sites were alleged to be operating. 

The organization, along with London-based Reprieve, had urged the authorities to re-instate a criminal investigation into the country’s role in the US-led rendition and secret detention programmes. Reprieve had provided new information about rendition flights for the report.

“The Prosecutor’s claim that there’s nothing left to investigate is simply not credible,” said Julia Hall, Amnesty International’s expert on counter-terrorism and human rights.

“There is a significant amount of information, old and new, that has not been fully investigated. The only reason left to refuse to re-open the investigation is fear of the truth.”

A Lithuanian parliamentary inquiry conducted in 2009 concluded that two secret detention facilities had been prepared to receive detainees.

The Prosecutor General began an investigation into the matter in January 2010, but closed it a year later on highly dubious grounds, including the claim that information gathered by the prosecutor’s office could not be disclosed because it constituted a “state secret”.

The report released by Amnesty International, Unlock the Truth in Lithuania: Investigate Secret Prisons Now, argued that critical evidence from the first investigation had not been adequately investigated. A delegation from Amnesty International and the Vilnius-based Human Rights Monitoring Institute met government officials in September to urge that the investigation be re-opened.

Among the new developments cited were credible allegations that Abu Zubaydah, currently detained at the US detention facility in Guantánamo Bay, had been detained in a Lithuanian secret prison.

“We know people were tortured in facilities just like the ones discovered in Lithuania”, said Julia Hall.

“If such abuse occurred in Lithuania too, the public has a right to know; the victims have a right to the truth; and the government has an obligation to bring to justice those who were responsible. The Prosecutor’s refusal to investigate his country’s role in the CIA’s secret detention programme is a disgraceful dereliction of duty and a serious violation of Lithuania’s human rights commitments.”

Read More

Lithuania: Re-open secret prison investigation now (Report abstract, 29 September 2011)
Unlock the truth in Lithuania: Investigate secret prisons now (Report, 29 September 2011)
Unlocking the truth about Lithuania’s secret prisons (Blog, 29 September 2011)

Issue

Detention 
Disappearances And Abductions 
Torture And Ill-treatment 

Country

Lithuania 

Region

Europe And Central Asia 

Campaigns

Security with Human Rights 

@amnestyonline on twitter

News

11 April 2014

There are mounting fears over the fate of  a man who went missing 11 days ago after tweeting pictures of an attempted jail break in Abuja, Amnesty International said today... Read more »

08 April 2014

Rick Perry must stop Wednesday’s execution of Ramiro Hernández Llanas, a Mexican national with a mental disability.

Read more »
14 April 2014

The early release in Viet Nam of several prisoners of conscience is welcome, but serves to highlight the situation of at least 70 others who remain jailed for peacefully... Read more »

09 April 2014

A new resource to arm lawyers, defendants and the judiciary with the tools to fight against unfair trials and injustice is published by Amnesty International today.

Read more »
16 April 2014

Ten years after serving a full sentence for his revelations to the press about Israel’s nuclear weapons programme, Mordechai Vanunu still faces severe restrictions that... Read more »