Hearings being held today at the European Court of Human Rights in two crucial cases against Romania and Lithuania for complicity in the CIA-led rendition and secret detention programmes represent a milestone in accountability, said Amnesty International.
A host of European states played a role in facilitating the torture and enforced disappearance of people by the CIA in the aftermath of the 11 September 2011 attacks on the USA. In this particular instance, the two men, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri and Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn, often referred to as Abu Zubaydah – both of whom are now in US custody at Guantanamo Bay – were subjected to torture including waterboarding in CIA secret sites.
"Romania and Lithuania have never been held accountable for their direct involvement in CIA rendition and secret detention. Today’s hearing is a chance for the victims’ lawyers to set the facts out before the European Court in the hope that it will help break the conspiracy of silence," said Julia Hall, Amnesty International’s expert on counter-terrorism and human rights in Europe.