Lithuania Plans to Sell CIA's 'Detention Site Violet'

Lithuanian government’s real estate fund announced it will unload the structure
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 29, 2022 4:10 PM CST
For Sale: Former CIA Black Site
The seal of the Central Intelligence Agency at CIA headquarters in Langley, Va.   (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

A steel barn that's about to hit the market in Lithuania wouldn't normally attract international attention, but then again, there aren't too many barns out there that have served as CIA black sites. The Lithuanian government’s real estate fund says it is preparing to sell the "menacing" structure, as the Guardian puts it (see a photo here), which was an element in the US' post-9/11 rendition program. The 10-room building was used by the CIA from 2005 to 2006 and held Abu Zubaydah and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, per the Guardian, which reports the site was closed after Lithuania would not permit the hospitalization of a third prisoner, Mustafa al-Hawsawi. All three remain in Guantanamo. Lithuania's intelligence service made use of the site from 2007 until 2018.

The head of a 2010 Lithuanian parliamentary investigation into the site—known as Project No 2 or Detention Site Violet—tells Reuters: "This was a heavily guarded building where one could do whatever you want. What exactly was going on there, we did not determine." Testimony presented to the European Court of Human Rights in 2018 spoke to some of what was allegedly going on: inmates were said to be kept in solitary confinement where the lights were never shut off and where they were subjected to a high-intensity noise. The Washington Post reports that while the US government continues to withhold the locations of such detention facilities, the European Court of Human Rights found that the barn outside Vilnius is the structure identified only as Violet in a 2014 Senate report. The building's price has yet to be set. (More black sites stories.)

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