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Rights groups urge Lithuania to reopen probe into secret CIA prisons

Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Human Rights Monitoring Institute [official websites] on Tuesday urged Lithuania to reopen its investigation into secret CIA prisons [JURIST news archive] that may have operated in the country from 2001-2006. In 2010 Lithuania launched an investigation into illegal detentions but closed it a year later. Lithuania has refused to disclose the information from the investigation and has refused to reopen it. The EU advocacy director at HRW Lotte Leicht said:

Lithuania is betraying the fundamental principles of human rights that underline the European Union by refusing to investigate serious allegations of human rights crimes, such as disappearances and torture. The county holding the EU's presidency should have the courage and leadership to confront wrongdoing and make amends
The request [press release] comes just before Lithuania takes over the EU rotating presidency on July 1.

In September 2011 Amnesty International insisted [JURIST report] Lithuania reopen the investigation into secret CIA prisons. In January that same year human rights groups pressed for Lithuania's investigation to be reopened, calling the decision to stop the investigation premature [JURIST report]. In 2009 the Lithuanian Parliament National Security Committee reported that the CIA had established secret prisons for al Qaeda suspects in the Baltic country. Lawmakers demanded the investigation [JURIST report] after ABC News reported that former CIA officials said that Lithuania provided the CIA with facilities for a secret prison for high-value al Qaeda suspects in order to improve relations with the US. The parliamentary committee concluded that the Lithuanian State Security Department provided the CIA with two secret facilities, but it is unclear whether either facility was used to interrogate detainees.

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