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Amnesty calls on Lithuania to reopen probe into secret CIA prisons

RIA Novosti

19:03 29/09/2011 VILNIUS, September 29 (RIA Novosti) - Lithuania should reopen a criminal investigation into secret CIA prisons on its territory, Amnesty International said in a statement on Thursday.

The human rights organization on Thursday unveiled the report - Unlock the Truth in Lithuania: Investigate Secret Prisons Now - in which it traces developments since the Lithuanian authorities admitted that the country hosted two secret CIA detention centers between 2002 and 2006.

In August 2009, ABC News reported that Lithuania, along with Poland and Romania, had secret CIA prisons on its territory, where suspected al-Qaeda terrorists were secretly kept and interrogated. It later said the prison was probably located on the territory of an exclusive horse riding school near Vilnius.

In January 2010, the Lithuanian Prosecutor's Office closed the probe, citing a lack of evidence. Amnesty International however said Lithuania's investigation into possible human rights violations was incomplete.

The report by Amnesty International also provides information on Lithuanian involvement in rendition operations and suggests new critical lines of inquiry that must be pursued.

"The Lithuanian authorities should not hide behind the blanket claim of 'state secrecy' to prevent allegations of disappearance and torture from being properly investigated," Julia Hall, Amnesty International's expert on counterterrorism and human rights in Europe said, adding that no one had been held accountable for helping the United States to build the secret jails.

Lithuanian prosecutors said that they needed more evidence on the illegal detention facilities.

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