Romania and Lithuania violated EU anti-torture rules by allowing the CIA to interrogate terror suspects (Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri) pictured at secret black sites, a court ruled
Romania and Lithuania violated EU anti-torture rules by allowing the CIA to interrogate terror suspects at secret black sites, a court ruled.
Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri were captured after the September 11 attacks and sent to the sites for ‘enhanced interrogation’ in 2004-06.
There they suffered ‘inhuman treatment’ and ‘an extremely harsh detention regime’, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on Thursday.
Lithuania and Romania were ordered to pay each man €100,000 (£87,660).
The two al-Qaeda suspects, now locked up in Guantanamo Bay, lodged their cases in 2011 and 2012 saying they were illegally detained.
The court found Romanian authorities knew Saudi national Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri would risk torture and the death penalty when it allowed the CIA to detain him.
He suffered ‘inhuman treatment… which Romania had enabled by co-operating with the CIA’ from April 2004 to November 2005, the ruling stated.
Lithuania was found complicit in hosting a secret CIA prison from February 2005 to March 2006 when it illegally held top Palestinian al-Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah (pictured)
Judges referred to CIA files documenting suspects being subjected to blindfolding or hooding, solitary confinement, the continuous use of leg shackles, and excessive exposure to noise and light.
They were also waterboarded, put in stress positions, stripped naked and humiliated, deprived of sleep, and beaten. Tapes of their interrogations were destroyed.
Nashiri was in one instance subjected to a mock execution where an interrogator coked a pistol behind his head, and then revved a power drill next to it.
Zubaydah was waterboarded 83 times and lost his left eye while in CIA custody in unexplained circumstances that he himself doesn’t even know.
Nashiri was accused of orchestrating a 2002 attack on the MV Limburg, a French oil tanker, and the 2000 attack against the USS Cole in Yemen that left 17 dead.
The accused terrorist faces a military trial in Guantanamo on war crimes charges over the attacks, which has been delayed for years by legal wrangling.
Lithuania was found complicit in hosting a secret CIA prison from February 2005 to March 2006
Lithuania was found complicit in hosting a secret CIA prison from February 2005 to March 2006 when it illegally held Zubaydah, a top Palestinian al-Qaeda operative.
He was believed to be al-Qaeda’s chief recruiter in the 1990s then becoming an organiser and conduit between Osama Bin Laden to other al-Qaeda cells.
A 2014 U.S. Senate report found that both Zubaydah and Nashiri were subject to ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ in CIA detention, including waterboarding.
The court found that in both cases, the suspects were effectively within the national jurisdictions of Lithuania and Romania
The court found Romanian authorities knew Saudi national Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri would risk torture and the death penalty when it allowed the CIA to detain him
The countries were therefore were ‘responsible for the violation’ of their rights under the European Convention on Human Rights, which explicitly forbids torture and the death penalty.
Both suspects were also interrogated at black sites in Poland in 2002-03 and the ECHR made a similar ruling against the country in 2015.
Poland was ordered to pay each man €100,000 (£87,660) and Zubaydah a further €30,000 (£26,300) for his legal fees.