Guantanamo inmate vs. Lithuania

  • 2011-10-05
  • By Rokas M. Tracevskis

VILNIUS - On Sept. 29, representatives of Amnesty International, Reprieve and Interights held a demonstration in the center of Vilnius with the slogan “Unlock the truth.” On the same day, these human rights organizations held a press conference on the premises of the Baltic News Service in Vilnius, urging Lithuania to investigate the accusations of Abu Zubaydah, the Palestinian-origin prisoner of Guantanamo, who suspects that he was tortured, including waterboarding, in the alleged ‘black site’ on the outskirts of Vilnius.

On Feb. 17, 2005, a plane chartered by a company linked to the CIA’s secret prisons program took the flight Morocco – Lithuania with a short stop in Jordan, human rights activists said. Zubaydah speculates, according to human rights organizations, that he was held not only in Lithuania, but also in a ‘black site’ in Poland as well.
“The timing of this flight in February 2005 corresponds with what we understand were movements out of Morocco of Abu Zubaydah in the secret detention in Europe,” Julia Hall of the Amnesty International said. “The General Prosecutor’s Office has all the possibilities to question all the people who were related to this flight,” Arvydas Anusauskas, chairman of the Lithuanian parliament’s committee on national security and defense, said. Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite expressed an identical opinion in reacting to the claims of human rights organizations.

However, Darius Raulusaitis, deputy prosecutor general, said that at the moment, human rights organizations have presented no concrete documents which would prove their claims. The Lithuanian officials who were in power during the alleged black sites-era, also spoke on Sept. 29. Mecys Laurinkus, former head of the Lithuanian State Security Department, stated that there were no ‘black sites’ in Lithuania. Former Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus rejected all the accusations made by human rights organizations, stating that they are not serious and should be simply ignored.