Europe’s human rights commissioner has demanded that Lithuania, Poland and Romania investigate the roles their governments allegedly played in the CIA’s program of “secret detention and torture” of terrorism suspects.
Thomas Hammarberg called on the three countries to fully investigate the role their governments allegedly played in the CIA rendition program.
“CIA rendition, detention and interrogation practices gave rise to the most serious categories of human rights violations on European soil,” said Hammarberg. “The governments concerned have favored concealment and cover-up.”
Europe’s human rights chief alleges that officials in Warsaw, Bucharest and Vilnus lied to parliament, made false statements to international organizations, and used judicial channels – including the invocation of state secrecy – to keep the most damaging revelations out of the public domain.
In the 1990s, covert flights shuttled prisoners from the US military base in Guantanamo Bay to dozens of CIA-run prisons overseas.
Among the interrogation techniques authorized by the US government were forced nudity, shackling in stress positions, extended sleep deprivation, dietary manipulation and waterboarding
Hammarberg’s open statement, released just days before a panel from the Council of Europe is set to look into the matter, claims one secret CIA torture center opened in Poland in late 2002.
A year later, the center was relocated to Romania.
And Lithuania, according to multiple reports, had a secret CIA prison operating just outside the capital, Vilnus, for more than two years.
Although all three governments involved have investigated the abuses, their efforts have been halfhearted at best, Hammarberg said.