Lithuania lawmakers demand investigation into alleged CIA secret prisons

[JURIST] Lithuanian lawmakers on Wednesday demanded an investigation [press release, in Lithuanian] into allegations that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) [official website] established a secret prison [JURIST news archive] for al Qaeda suspects in the Baltic country. The Lithuanian Parliament [official website, in Lithuanian] National Security and Defense Committee said it wants the full 141-member assembly to approve the probe next week. Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite [official website, in Lithuanian] on Tuesday said that she has suspicions about the existence of secret prisons in the country [press release, in Lithuanian] and, if these facilities existed, that Lithuania should take responsibility for its actions and promise it will never happen again. Former CIA officials have reportedly told ABC News states that Lithuania provided the CIA with facilities [ABC News report] for a secret prison for high value al Qaeda suspects in order to improve relations with the US. The facilities were allegedly located in the outskirts of Vilnius, the country's capital, from September 2004 through November 2005, when they were moved because of public disclosures about the program. Former president Valdus Adamkus and former prime minister Algirdas Brazauskas, who were both in office during the specified time period, have denied reports of any clandestine prison in Lithuania. Lithuania, which in February announced [JURIST report] it had been asked to take in inmates from Guantanamo, warned that it would not accept any until cleared of CIA allegations.

On his third day in office in January, US President Barack Obama ordered the closure [JURIST report] of all CIA secret prisons. The European Parliament voted [JURIST report] in February 2007 to approve a report that condemned member states for cooperating with the CIA in operating secret prisons. In January 2007, the UK admitted knowledge of the CIA prison network, and then-president George W. Bush publicly acknowledged [JURIST reports] in September 2006 that these types of facilities existed. In June 2006, the Council of Europe [official website] released [JURIST report] a report [text, PDF] that 14 European countries collaborated with the CIA by taking an active or passive role in a "global spider's web" of secret prisons and rendition flights. The existence of CIA prisons in Europe was first reported in November 2005.

 

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