ECHR rejects Lithuanian and Romanian appeals regarding CIA prisons

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) announced on October 9 that it had rejected appeals by Lithuania and Romania against an earlier ruling that they were complicit in a controversial programme of secret CIA detention centres on their territories.

In May, the ECHR ruled that both Lithuania and Romania knew two suspects caught after the September 11, 2001, attacks were at risk of torture while held at so-called ‘black sites’ from 2004 to 2006. Both countries were ordered to pay 100,000 euros to each defendant.

Saudi national Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri claimed he was illegally held and tortured at an undisclosed site in Romania, while suspected Al-Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah alleged the same treatment was applied to him in Lithuania. Both are now being detained at Guantanamo Bay.

The ECHR found that in both cases the suspects were effectively within the national jurisdictions of Lithuania and Romania, which were therefore responsible for the violation of their rights under the European Convention on Human Rights.

Bucharest and Vilnius have always denied the existence of secret CIA prisons in their countries.