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Activists claim Saudi held in Lithuanian CIA site

By Liudas Dapkus

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Sept. 26 2013 7:07 a.m. MDT

U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., right, speaks to the Lithuanian Foreign Minister Audronius Azubalis at the President palace in Vilnius, Lithuania, Friday, Feb. 4, 2011.

Mindaugas Kulbis, Associated Press

Enlarge photo»

VILNIUS, Lithuania — Human rights activists said Thursday that a Saudi citizen was held at an alleged secret CIA detention site in Lithuania and urged authorities to re-open an investigation into possible rendition in the Baltic state.

Sarah Fulton, a lawyers for the rights watchdog Reprieve, said that Mustafa al-Hawsawi, currently being held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, was secretly brought to Lithuania in March 2004 and held there until September 2006.

Activists said the new information came to light after careful study of secret flights to and from Lithuania, as well as prisoner testimony.

Previous reports from human rights organizations claim that Abu Zubaydah, a militant, was allegedly held at a CIA site in Lithuania.

"With a new victim claiming that he was held in CIA secret detention in Lithuania, we urge authorities in Vilnius to renew and redouble efforts to investigate these facts," Fulton said.

A parliamentary probe in Lithuania determined that the CIA could have established two prisons in the Baltic state with the help of the country's security service. However, the probe was inconclusive as to whether the so-called black sites actually held prisoners.

Activists slammed Lithuanian prosecutors for ignoring the new data and failing to reopen their investigation.

"The Lithuanian government has said time and again that if fresh information is presented, it will consider re-opening the previous investigations. Well, here it is," said Julia Hall, a rights expert at Amnesty International.

"Lithuania's investigations have so far been manifestly insufficient in scope and rigor. According to new available data, prosecutors spent only an hour and 15 minutes inspecting the black site," said Crofton Black, a researcher with the U.K.-based Reprieve.

There was no immediate response from the Lithuanian government.

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