The European Court of Human Rights said Tuesday that it had rejected appeals lodged by Lithuania and Romania over its ruling they were complicit in a controversial programme of secret CIA detention centres on their territories.

In May the court found that both countries knew two suspects caught after the September 11, 2001, attacks would risk torture while held at the "black sites" from 2004 to 2006.

Saudi national Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri claimed he was illegally held and tortured at an undisclosed site in Romania, while suspected Al-Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah alleged the same while in Lithuania.

A 2014 US Senate report determined that both men -- considered "high-level detainees" -- were subject to "enhanced interrogation techniques" including waterboarding while in detention.

The ECHR found that in both cases the suspects were effectively within the national jurisdictions of Lithuania and Romania, which were therefore "responsible for the violation" of their rights under the European Convention on Human Rights.

The convention explicitly forbids torture and the death penalty, and both countries were ordered to pay 100,000 euros ($117,000) to each complainant.

Nashiri and Zubaydah are now being detained at the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay.

Bucharest and Vilnius have steadfastly denied the existence of secret CIA prisons in their countries.

But the European court had already condemned Poland in 2014 for allowing both Nashiri and Zubaydah to be held at a CIA site there in 2002 and 2003.

In the wake of the September 11 attacks, the CIA took suspected Qaeda detainees to several "black sites" around the world to escape US rules on interrogations -- a programme that has since been judged illegal.

Other punishments inflicted at the sites included intense sleep deprivation, being crammed into coffin-size boxes and "rectal rehydration" to get suspects to talk.


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European court rejects appeal by Lithuania, Romania on CIA prisons