Activists urge Lithuania to reopen secret detention investigations

[JURIST] Amnesty International UK (AI) [advcocacy website] on Thursday urged [press release] Lithuania to reopen its investigation into the country's involvement in the US-led rendition and secret detention programs after a victim came forward with new information. Redress [advocacy website] and the Human Rights Monitoring Institute filed a complaint [text, PDF] with the Lithuanian Prosecutor General [official website] on behalf of Mustafa al-Hawsawi, who is currently detained at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST backgrounder], claiming that al-Hawsawi was held in secret detention in Lithuania sometime between 2004 and 2006. The complaint provides:

Article 100 of the Lithuanian Criminal Code (Treatment of Persons Prohibited under International Law) makes it a crime to intentionally, by carrying out or supporting the policy of the state or an organisation, unlawfully imprison or otherwise deprive persons of liberty in violation of international law; to torture; to detain, arrest or otherwise deprive them of liberty, where such a deprivation of liberty is not recognised, or to fail to report the fate or whereabouts of a person. Unlawful deprivation of liberty is also punishable under Article 146 of the Criminal Code. Article 292 of the Code prohibits unlawful transportation (and the organisation of such transportation) of persons across the state border and provides for criminal liability for unlawful transportation of “an alien not having a permanent place of residence in the Republic of Lithuania."
Lithuanian prosecutors have not commented on the claims.

AI previously urged Lithuania to reopen its investigation [JURIST report] into secret CIA prisons in 2011. In January 2011 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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