Amnesty International issues fresh assessment on EU’s secret prisons
(Brussels, 29 September 2011) As Amnesty International issues a new report on secret detention in Lithuania, it has appealed to the authorities in Vilnius to investigate allegations of illegal activity and the European Parliament to produce its own new report into the complicity of European Union countries in the CIA’s rendition and secret detention programmes.
Amnesty International’s report on Lithuania’s role in the US-led rendition and secret detention programmes, Unlock the Truth in Lithuania: Investigate Secret Prisons Now, assesses the Lithuanian authorities’ deeds following their admission that the country hosted two secret CIA detention facilities between 2002 and 2006. The report asserts that the judicial investigation’s closure was premature and unjustified and suggests new lines of enquiry exploring the connections between Lithuania and other EU countries including Finland, Poland, Portugal and Romania. The report challenges Lithuania to examine the case of Abu Zubaydah, who was allegedly detained in Lithuania, as well as Poland.
“The CIA programmes are a stain on the EU’s human rights record. The premature closure of the criminal investigation in Lithuania is just one example of increasingly disturbing signs of a spirit of impunity in Europe“, said Nicolas Beger, Director of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office. “We urge Lithuania thoroughly to investigate its alleged activities. Along with Poland, where a criminal investigation is underway, Lithuania has the opportunity to serve as a model for accountability throughout Europe.”
Amnesty International is encouraged by reports from the European Parliament that a rapporteur will shortly be appointed to lead Parliament’s new work on EU countries’ complicity in the CIA programmes. “”Once Parliament has officially re-engaged in this issue, the EU will no longer be able to pretend this isn’t an EU matter,” said Beger. “We urge the Council of the EU and the Polish presidency, to follow suit and fully collaborate with Parliament.”
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