May 31, 2018

STRASBOURG, France — The European Court of Human Rights today found Lithuania and Romania were complicit in the CIA’s illegal torture and rendition programs. The decisions were in the cases of Abu Zubaydah v. Lithuania and Al Nashiri v. Romania.

Hina Shamsi, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s National Security Project, issued the following statement on the rulings:

“The European Court of Human Rights rightly held Lithuania and Romania accountable for their involvement in the CIA’s inhuman treatment, secret detention, and rendition of Abu Zubaydah and Al Nashiri. These decisions stand in sharp contrast to the United States’ shameful record. Here, courts have largely failed to hold CIA officials accountable for torture, and Congress has confirmed as CIA director a Trump administration nominee who oversaw torture.”

Jamil Dakwar, director of the ACLU's Human Rights Program, added:

“We applaud the years-long effort of anti-torture advocates and investigators that resulted in today’s historic decisions. Their achievement serves as yet another warning that anti-torture advocates will not relent in seeking full transparency and accountability for the CIA’s horrific abuses in violation of U.S. and international law.”

Human Rights in Practice represented Abu Zubaydah in Abu Zubaydah v. Lithuania. The Open Society Justice Initiative brought the Al Nashiri v. Romania case. Both in the U.S. and abroad, the ACLU also continues to seek accountability for unlawful CIA detention and torture, including by representing survivors of U.S. torture policies before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the International Criminal Court.

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