Guantanamo detainee files complaint against Lithuania in Europe rights court

[JURIST] Lawyers for a Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee and alleged al Qaeda facilitator on Thursday filed a case against Lithuania in the European Court of Human Rights [official website] for torture and secret detention at a CIA-run location within the Baltic state. The claimant, Abu Zubaydah [BBC profile], is a Palestinian who was captured in Pakistan in 2002 and taken to multiple CIA black sites, where he claims he was the victim of various human rights violations. According to Zubaydah and supported by government intelligence reports, the prisoner was waterboarded approximately 83 times [CIA memo, PDF] while in Thailand. He was then flown from Morocco to a secret detention facility [JURIST news archive] in Lithuania in February 2005, where he was supposedly tortured once again. Despite two previous probes dropped by the Lithuanian government in January 2009, officials have stated that they will consider re-opening a criminal investigation in light of increasing pressure [press release] from human rights groups like Amnesty International [advocacy website]. Lithuania is the only European country to have admitted directly working with CIA officials to provide these secret detention facilities, but nothing else.

The Lithuanian probe is not the first time that Zubaydah has urged countries to examine the often controversial methods of the US rendition program. In December 2010, Zubaydah asked Polish prosecutors [JURIST report] to investigate his alleged abuse at a secret CIA prison in Poland, where he claims he was the victim of enhanced interrogation techniques. Likewise, in April 2007, the alleged al Qaeda loyalist denied ties to terrorism [transcript] and asked a US Combatant Status Review Tribunal [JURIST report] to investigate his claims of torture. Zubaydah was transferred to Guantanamo Bay [JURIST report] in September 2006 as one of 14 "high value" terror suspects [DNI profile], and has remained there since.

 

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