Lithuania and other European Union (EU) countries must carry out independent investigations into the allegations of having hosted secret US detention centres for interrogation of suspected terrorists, the European Commission said.
CIA head John Brennan
© AP/Scanpix

Brussels said the issues were not within the EU competences but, instead, had to do with commitments of individual countries envisaged in the European Convention on Human Rights.

"As regards allegations against EU member-states, the Commission has consistently stressed since the beginning several years ago that it is the responsibility of all concerned member-states to conduct independent and impartial investigations to establish the facts. These issues are outside EU competence, but they do relate to member-states' obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights," EC spokesperson for justice affairs Melanie Voin told BNS.

The US Senate last week published a report about interrogations and torture of suspected al Qaeda fighters performed by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

The report's paragraphs about the countries that accommodated the secret detention centres have been redacted. Human rights advocates say that the centre referred to in the report as "violet" probably operated in Antaviliai near the Lithuanian capital in 2005-2006. Other centres may have operated in Poland, Romania, Thailand and Afghanistan.

The report about the "violet" centre refers to millions of US dollars as sign of "appreciation," noting that an unnamed high-ranking official was not aware of everything. According to the document, the center was closed down after the host country refused to provide medical assistance to a prisoner from Saudi Arabia, Mustafa Ahmad al Hawsawi.

Lithuanian prosecutors have pledged to turn to the US for a sanction to receive the full and uncensored version of the US Senate report.

BNS
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