[JURIST] The US held eleven captured al Qaeda suspects at two secret CIA prisons [JURIST report] in Eastern Europe until media reports exposing the existence of the prisons shut down the facilities last month, ABC News reported Monday. The prisoners were then hastily relocated [Reuters report] to a CIA facility in North Africa prior to the arrival of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice [JURIST report] in Europe. Rice's presence is an attempt to defuse increasing pressure [JURIST report] by EU lawmakers who have demanded a deeper investigation [JURIST report] into the existence of the alleged secret prisons. In a speech [transcript; JURIST report] Monday before departing on her Europe trip, Rice defended the CIA's rendition practices and said the US does not use torture, but didn't directly address the allegations of covert European prisons. Rice did say, however, that US sharing intelligence with its allies has "helped protect European countries from attack, saving European lives." Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] criticized Rice's speech, saying she mischaracterized [press release] the US government's rendition practices and expressed concern that Rice makes "extra-legal rendition sound like just another form of extradition," when it is really "a form of kidnapping and 'disappearing' someone entirely outside the law." Results of an AP poll released Tuesday revealed that around two-thirds of people living in Canada, Mexico, South Korea and Spain, where the CIA is said to be conducting secret investigations, said they would oppose allowing the US to secretly interrogate terror suspects [poll results, PDF] in their countries, with a similar number in Britain, France, Germany and Italy noting the same. AP has more.