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Suspected 9/11 Planner Sues Lithuania

Lithuania, along with Romania and Poland, have been held accountable for the detention and abuse of 9/11 suspects at secret CIA prisons.

12 February 2019

The European Court of Human Rights will examine a lawsuit filed by a Saudi national who claims he was held in a secret CIA prison in Lithuania.


The United States considers Mustafa al-Hawsawi, currently being held at the U.S. military’s Guantanamo Bay prison, a suspect in the 9/11 attacks.


The Strasbourg court has asked the Lithuanian government to submit its position on his lawsuit, Baltic Times reports.


Al-Hawsawi is the second Guantanamo inmate to seek redress from the ECHR for allegedly being held and mistreated on Lithuanian soil.


Last year the court said Lithuania and Romania had hosted the so-called CIA “black sites” in the early 2000s, and ordered Lithuania to pay 130,000 euros ($146,000) in damages to another suspected 9/11 planner, Zayn al Abdeen Mohammed al Hussein, known as Abu Zubaydah.


The court found that Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a Saudi national later sent to Guantanamo, was held in Romania from 2003 to 2005 and urged the government to punish those who abused him, The Miami Herald reported.


Lithuania and Romania each deny hosting secret CIA facilities.


Lithuania was the site of a secret detention facility referred to as “Violet” in a 2014 U.S. Senate report, some human rights activists said. The report said the facility was closed in 2006, according to the Baltic Times.


The building near Vilnius suspected of housing the CIA facility was an “intelligence support center,” Lithuanian officials say. Authorities there opened a pre-trial investigation into the allegations in 2015. Officials say the United States has refused to cooperate with Lithuanian prosecutors, according to AFP.




  • Al-Nashiri is a main suspect in the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000. He and Abu Zubaydah alleged they were tortured during interrogations in 2002 and 2003 in a secret prison in Stare Kiejkuty, northern Poland.

Compiled by Ky Krauthamer

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