According to this article, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Romania and Lithuania allowed the detention and abuse of a Saudi and a Palestinian at secret U.S. prisons:

The court concluded that Nashiri was blindfolded, hooded, shackled, kept in solitary confinement, and subjected to loud noise and bright light during his detention at the CIA prison in Romania.

The court also said that Lithuania hosted a secret CIA detention facility from February 2005 to March 2006 where Abu Zubaydah, a Palestinian suspected of being a planner for the Sept. 11 attacks, was detained.

According to Wikipedia both states were aspiring to join EU in 2005-2006 (applications issued in 1995) and it is known that fight against torture and ill-treatment is a long-standing and important value of European Union.

So, there seem to be a contradiction between desire to join EU and accepting helping CIA.

Question: What is the rationale for hosting CIA secret jails by Romania and Lithuania?

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    Does the question propose that the rationale for Romania and Lithuania was different from Kenya, Thailand or the other nations who also act(ed) as hosts for the activities of the entity? Or that the focus of the inquiry is only for the two nations mentioned at the original question, irrespective of the rationale of other nations whom were also hosts of the entity? Jun 18, 2018 at 13:35
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    @guest271314 - I do not know, but the political context is quite different. One knows that this type of acts are a no-no within EU, so it is unclear when done by aspiring countries. Hosting a couple of alleged terrorists seems less important than joining the EU. The only justification I can think about is related to the newly admittance within NATO (2004) for both countries shortly before the events.
    – Alexei
    Jun 18, 2018 at 13:45
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    To be fair, other EU countries were rather happily looking the other way while the CIA used their airports to transport the imprisoned people. It was only when the press put the whole affair in the spotlight that measures were taken against it.
    – SJuan76
    Jun 18, 2018 at 14:15
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    What would an answer look like? Are you interested in other examples of either of those countries behaving poorly without US involvement? Maybe an estimate of money or other value coming from the US at that time or later? A description of who exactly is responsible for advancing the apparently contradicting policies?
    – user9389
    Jun 18, 2018 at 17:14
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    Remember: These were secret jails. The persons responsible probably thought they would stay secret. Jun 19, 2018 at 12:09

1 Answer 1


First, these secret jails are still shrouded in secrecy, even years after they have closed down. Washington has acknowledged it held al Qaeda suspects in jails outside U.S. jurisdiction, but it has not provided a full list of locations.

The Strasburg-based court said Lithuania hosted a CIA jail between February 2005 and March 2006 and Romania between September 2003 and November 2005. Both contravened the European Human Rights Convention which prohibits torture, illegal detention and the death penalty.

Official Concrete Answer: The CIA’s role in the detention and torture of prisoners comes as reaction to September 11, 2001 attacks.

UPDATED INFO: According to Business Review, Romania hosted CIA ”black prisons” in exchange for NATO membership, according to ex-spy chief Ioan Talpes.

Other than that information, the guess is anyone's. Most likely the conjecture made by user4012 in the comments has the right idea stating that Romania and Lithuania were probably influenced by money or something along those lines.

It is worth noting that in 2015, Romania’s foreign ministry said authorities had no evidence showing there were CIA detention centers in the country.

However, Ioan Talpes, a former national security adviser to Romania’s president, testified that Romania had allowed U.S. intelligence to operate a facility in Romania, though officials were unaware people were detained there.

Certainly it would appear that something is being swept under the rug. So whatever the motivation for hosting these secret jails might be, hiding it suggests potential illegalities.

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    Do you have a link about Ioan Talpes' statements?
    – user9389
    Jul 18, 2018 at 22:52
  • @notstoreboughtdirt thanks for asking it has actually expanded my answer. Edits above. Jul 18, 2018 at 23:12
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    May I ask whose "official concrete answer" you are providing? Yours or someone else's? Note I do not thing it is necessarily wrong, but ...
    – CGCampbell
    Jul 18, 2018 at 23:58
  • Reuters... other sources claimed that the reason why CIA secret jails opened was as a response to 9/11 when specifically addressing this topic... kinda obvious right? The meat is that the "official" answer gives only information you can easily assume (i.e. answering why you're kid is wet: you see a pool outside, you can assume the kid jumped in the pool... but beyond that, did someone push your kid in there? did the kid jump/fall in? etc...) Jul 19, 2018 at 0:05

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