'Secret CIA interrogation prison' discovered in Bucharest
The jail was housed in the basement of the National Registry Office for Classified Information
The hitherto secret location of what is said to have been one of the CIA's notorious interrogation prisons in Eastern Europe has been traced to a government building in the Romanian capital, Bucharest.
The prison, code-named "Bright Light", was allegedly housed until 2006 in the basement of Romania's National Registry Office for Classified Information, which lies in a busy residential district. Detainees, who included al-Qa'ida figures who masterminded the 9/11 attacks, were held in cells set on springs to keep them off balance, repeatedly slapped, doused with water and forced to stand for hours in painful positions.
The prison – which belonged to a string of so-called CIA "black sites" in Thailand, Lithuania, and Poland – was discovered during a joint investigation by the Associated Press and the German television channel ARD, which aired a documentary on the subject last night. The programme-makers said the CIA selected a government building in what had been one of the East Bloc's infamous police states to minimise the possibility of being detected.
The existence of a CIA prison in Romania has been widely reported, but although the CIA ended its detention and interrogation programme in 2009, its whereabouts had never been established.
Romania has denied providing prison facilities for the CIA and government officials interviewed in the documentary claim that the idea is "impossible". But the film-makers were tipped off about the prison by former US intelligence officials.
Prisoners were flown into Bucharest, picked up from the airport in windowless vans and entered the tree-lined compound via a rear gate. Inside, the detainees were held in six prefabricated cells. Officials insisted the technique of waterboarding was never used at the facility and that after the initial harsh interrogation the prisoners were provided with full medical treatment and special food to meet the requirements of their religion. The prisoners were later transferred to Guantanamo Bay.
The Romanian government continues to deny it provided such facilities. Dick Marty, a Swiss MP who led an investigation into the prisons for the Council of Europe, said: "We are at last beginning to learn what really happened."
- 1 Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
- 3 Ann Summers survey reveals the UK's favourite sex position
- 4 Jaden Smith wears gender fluid dress to high school prom with Hunger Games actress
- 5 How much sex should I be having?
Ed Miliband returns to the backbenches but it's all a bit awkward as he tries to avoid eye-contact with fellow Labour MPs
Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
Charles Kennedy 1959-2015: A gifted, compassionate politician whose career was cut short by the 'demon drink' - latest news
Ayyan Ali: Pakistan's top model now appears in the courtroom rather than on the catwalk
Isis tortures 14-year-old Syrian boy and films it in graphic video for 'propaganda purposes'
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Why this year's general election was the most unfair in Britain's history
£12675 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Office Assistant is required...
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Trainee Case Handler/Probate ...
£24000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: These refrigeration specialists...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an operational role and...