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January 27, 2023

Ministry of Foreign Affairs : The U.S. Senate report on secret CIA jails contains no reference to Romania”

Regarding the U.S. Senate report that pointed to Romania as the site of a secret CIA jail and the accordingly allegations in the international media so far, the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said a in release on Tuesday that  “the document made public contains no reference to Romania and the Romanian authorities have no proofs pointing to the fact that there were CIA detention centres on the Romanian territory or that the Romanian airports were used by the CIA for carrying or detaining prisoners suspected of terrorist acts”.

“The report did not name countries that hosted CIA jails, but it gave details of prisoners being transferred to and from “detention center BLACK” which matched air traffic records of CIA-chartered planes passing through Romanian airports between 2003 and 2005,” writes Reuters in an article “U.S. torture report puts Romania’s role under scrutiny”.

The Romanian Foreign Ministry adds that “no proofs have been obtained so far with respect to cases of persons or official foreign agencies having been involved in actions of depriving of freedom or illegal transport of prisoners on the Romanian territory”.

‘The Foreign Ministry underscores that Romania, as a European Union and NATO member, a party to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (New York, 1984) distances itself from and vehemently rejects such practices, no matter what the circumstances. This is its official policy as a state and, at the same time, the clear, unequivocal and uncompromising policy on human rights of the European Union, which Romania supports and practices without reserves’, the ministry says with regard to ‘the allegations about Romania circulated in the public space following the publication of the Executive Summary of the Report of the Intelligence Committee of the U.S. Senate with respect to the CIA interrogation and detention programme’.

The Foreign Ministry stresses that “moves have been made to verify such allegations and it reaffirms that Romania, in its capacity of a member of the Western community of values is deeply attached to the rule of law, democratic institutions, the promotion and defence of human rights”.

In the same article Reuters mentions that the office of Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta sent their questions about the U.S. Senate report on CIA secret detention centers to the foreign ministry. “In a statement, the ministry said the Senate report released to the public contained no references to Romania and Romanian authorities had no evidence showing there were CIA detention centers in Romania,” mentions Reuters.”Nevertheless, the ministry said authorities were cooperating with a judicial investigation inside Romania into allegations about a CIA jail in the country”.“The competent authorities are taking all necessary steps to solve this case, with full respect of the principles of the rule of law and human rights,” the statement said.

The same Reuters’ article says that president Traian Basescu did not respond to written questions, while the Romanian Foreign Intelligence Service said it had no information to show CIA detention centers existed on Romanian territory. In addition, Ion Iliescu, who was president from 2000 to 2004, told Reuters, when asked about a CIA facility: “I did not know many things. And I don’t know anything about this matter.”

However, Ioan Talpes, who was national security adviser for Romania’s president from 2000 to 2004, told Reuters that Romania had allowed U.S. intelligence to operate a facility in Romania, but Romanian officials were unaware people were detained there and did not receive money in exchange for hosting any jail.

Reuters underlines that in Romania’s case, the U.S. Senate report says detainees first arrived in autumn 2003. That coincides with a Sept. 22, 2003 flight to Romania which, according to the al-Nashiri application to the European court of Human Rights, was chartered by the CIA to bring detainees to the Romanian detention site. “The Senate report also says the site was wound down in autumn 2005. That coincides with extracts from air traffic control flight data, reviewed by Reuters, for flights into and out of Romania”.

“Aircraft making those flights can be traced back, via invoices, flight plans and court documents also reviewed by Reuters, to companies contracted by the CIA to transport detainees between foreign detention sites. Many of those documents were first uncovered by Reprieve, a campaign group whose research on CIA flights has been cited by the European parliament,” reports Reuters.




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