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Lithuania’s Complicated Relationship with a CIA Black Site

A C.I.A. Black Site Remains a Touchy Subject for Lithuania

Despite European court rulings confirming Lithuania as the site of a secret prison, the issue remains veiled in official secrecy, given the nation’s close ties with the United States. Initially, the transformation of a secluded property near Antaviliai, Lithuania, into a mysterious enterprise raised suspicion, with containers arriving and muscular English-speaking men seen jogging through the area.

Juozas Banevicius, a local resident, recalls the secrecy surrounding the property, including the installation of a security fence and the exclusion of outsiders. Despite being nearby, nobody knew the true nature of the activities conducted within.

Lithuania's Complicated Relationship with a CIA Black Site

Lithuania’s Complicated Relationship with a CIA Black Site (Credits: The New York Times)

Over the years, intense scrutiny from both the media and judiciary has revealed Antaviliai as a secret CIA detention and torture center, one of three such “black sites” established in Eastern Europe after the September 11, 2001 attacks. In January, the European Court of Human Rights confirmed the existence of a secret prison code-named Site Violet in Lithuania, indirectly implicating Antaviliai.

While Lithuanian officials acknowledge Antaviliai as a former site of CIA activity, they deny it was a prison. However, evidence from the European Court and ongoing scrutiny challenges this assertion, shedding light on a contentious aspect of Lithuania’s history.

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