CIA prisons: Ruling against Romania and Lithuania
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that Romania and Lithuania are guilty of human rights violations in secret CIA prisons established on their territory. The countries knew of the prisons and cooperated with the US foreign intelligence agency from 2003 to 2006, the judges in Strasbourg ruled. Journalists from both countries call for a thorough investigation into the affair.
A disgrace for Lithuania
Political scientist Kęstutis Girnius finds Lithuania's conduct shameful and calls for a detailed explanation:
“Lithuania has brought disgrace upon itself because it lacked the dignity to reject the CIA's demands. It is notable that these prisons were in Eastern - and not in Western - European countries, because the CIA didn't dare ask the developed democracies to comply with such wishes. ... Lithuania must finally clear up this affair. ... The public must be informed about who took this decision and whether it was done with the consent of the president and the prime minister.”
Basic rights exist even in times of war
Commenting on Contributors legal expert Vlad Perju hopes that after this ruling Romania will be able to atone for its guilt:
“The rights of al-Nashiri [a Saudi Arabian who was held in prison in Romania between 2004 and 2005] were - as long as he was on Romanian territory - not dependent on the decision of a Romanian president, a secret service director or the Romanian military. ... They should have been guaranteed by the laws of the Romanian state. ... Certain rights, such as that not to be tortured or treated inhumanely, must not be violated even in times of war. Since Romania violated these rights in the case of al-Nashiri the ECHR ruling has launced a difficult but extremely important debate in Romania.”