“Unless Europe is willing to expose its own role in this sordid chapter, and hold those responsible to account, history risks repeating itself,” HRW stated in a report published on the organization’s website.
HRW's report follows a recent study, detailing brutal interrogation techniques, used by the Central Intelligence Agency's (CIA) on secretly detained terrorism suspects.
Other countries, including Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, and Spain, were also involved to various degrees, stated HRW.
Despite some progress by the European Court of Human Rights in addressing the role of the Polish and Macedonian governments in the secret detention and illegal transfers of terrorism suspects, the investigations in Poland are not progressing, according to the report. In Lithuania and the United Kingdom investigations were shelved while in Italy criminal investigation is limited.
The study was initiated by the US Senate Intelligence Committee in March 2009, following claims that brutal investigation techniques were used by the CIA after the September 11 terror attack on the US World Trade Center in 2001. As stated in the committee's study, the CIA initiated a program of “indefinite secret detention and the use of brutal interrogation techniques” including slamming detainees against a wall, sleep deprivation, near drowning and humiliation.