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Secret CIA prisons. European states must investigate more seriously, says Amnesty

(B2) Amnesty International, has just denounced in a report the practices of several European countries which collaborated with the CIA, on the secret detention sites, set up to track down international terrorism under the Bush administration. A practice " more widespread than we meant ” underlines the human rights organization which pinpoints, examples in support of the American report of the Senate, 5 countries. The investigations carried out in these countries are at a standstill, or rather “continue” without any real result.

European governments must investigate more seriously

A situation that Amnesty wants to denounce. " European governments involved in CIA counter-terrorism operations must urgently carry out a full and effective investigation, and reform the laws, policies and practices that have made possible such cruel and unlawful acts. says Julia Hall. " All those responsible for acts of torture and enforced disappearances on the territories of European states must be criminally charged and held accountable after a fair trial. Victims of torture must obtain justice”.

"Blue" site in Poland: investigation underway

Two former Polish officials have finally admitted that Poland hosted a secret CIA detention site. The Senate report refers to "Detention Site Blue" and provides details of the site that match public information targeting a secret CIA site in Poland. It thus completes two decisions of the European Court of Human Rights issued in July 2014, according to which Poland was complicit in the secret program of "rendition" and secret detention of the United States. Among the examples of "enhanced interrogation techniques", it was mentioned that one or two men were subjected to mock drowning, mock execution with an unloaded weapon, threats of mutilation with a drill, and threats of sexual assault against the mother of one of the detainees. The criminal investigation in Poland, launched in 2008, " has been delayed several times and is still ongoing ". Blame it on the Americans according to Warsaw. A Polish official told Amnesty International that “ the US government ignored a number of requests for information necessary for the investigation ».

"Black" site in Romania: pleasing Americans to join NATO

In Romania, after years of denial, the former head of Romania's intelligence service and national security adviser to the then president admitted that Romanian Intelligence had allowed the United States to open one or two centers of detention in the country, referred to as "Detention Site Black" in the US Senate report. He explained this cooperation by the fact that Romania was a candidate for NATO membership. Ka Romania reportedly received millions of dollars from the US government. Romanian authorities said they had opened an investigation and requested a full, unredacted version of the Senate report.

Velvet site in Lithuania

After the publication of the Senate report, a parliamentarian previously charged with investigating allegations of the existence of a secret site acknowledged that the report indicated that detentions had indeed taken place in Lithuania. A group of Lithuanian MPs tabled a motion in parliament to establish a new commission of inquiry into Lithuania's involvement in CIA secret detention operations.

United Kingdom: the most important ally

The UK was arguably America's most important ally in the CIA's global counterterrorism operations ". The Senate report contains a reference to possible UK involvement in covert detention and interrogation operations: the torture of former Guantánamo Bay detainee Binyam Mohammed. Has Diego Garcia (British territory in the Indian Ocean) been used as a transit point or a place of detention in the context of "renditions", asks Amnesty, which complains of the lack of a real investigation. Although Prime Minister David Cameron has claimed that " the UK was investigating allegations that its officers were involved in the torture and ill-treatment of foreign detainees outside the UK", this claim "does not stand up to scrutiny according to Amnesty International. " The investigation by Parliament's Intelligence and Security Committee is not independent' and this work is constrained by the fact that the government had absolute discretion over the disclosure of information in the name of national security”.

Fyrom Former Republic of Macedonia and Germany

The torture and enforced disappearance of German national Khaled el Masri while in American custody resulted in a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights in 2012. But “ the Macedonian government has not commented on the report and has not yet implemented (this) decision ". Nor has the German government " effectively investigated its own role in CIA operations, nor sought the extradition from the United States of thirteen former CIA employees suspected of having been involved in the "rendition" of Khaled el Masri".


Read also: Secret CIA detentions. MEPs call for reopening of investigations in 8 countries

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).