Two detainees captured by the U.S. during the Bush administration are accusing the Polish government of violating their human rights, according to AllGov.
The accusations were brought before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, which is hearing the cases of two Guantanamo Bay inmates. This would be the first time that the court has examined the European role in the CIA’s “extraordinary rendition” of terror suspects.
The so-called “terrorists” are Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. They claim that they were brought to a CIA “black site” in Poland in December 2002, where they were detained and tortured for approximately 6 months until they were transferred to other interrogation sites before being taken to Gitmo.
Zubaydah was accused by the GWB administration of helping to “mastermind” 9/11 ; However, he has never been charged with a crime.
Nashiri was accused of helping carry out the attack on the USS Cole in 2000.
Both men are currently imprisoned at the secretive “Camp 7” at Gitmo, since they are both considered “high-value” detainees.
According to the lawyer representing Nashiri, Amrit Singh (who works with the Open Society Foundation) claims that Poland violated the European Convention on Human Rights by facilitating the torture and incommunicado detention of his client at Stare Kiejkuty, a Polish military base that was used by the CIA.
Singh said that the case is an “opportunity to break the conspiracy of silence” about Eurozone governments’ participation in the extraordinary rendition program for the U.S. “These acts occurred on Polish territory with the acquiescence and connivance of the Polish authorities.”
According to them, Poland should be condemned by the court for its involvement with the CIA abuses.
As far as torture is concerned, Nashiri was subjected to mock executions and painful stress positions, as well as threatened with bodily harm with a power drill. Zubaydah was waterboarded while being held at the Polish military base. Both of them were also told that their family members would be arrested and sexually abused.
Their lawyers say Poland was at fault for allowing their clients to be transferred to other U.S. black sites in Morocco and Afghanistan.
Polish authorities have accorded a “high level of credibility” to their claims, but have said their government needs to complete its own investigation of the whole thing before the European court considers the case. This is very unfortunate, seeing as how the investigation has already lasted 5 years, and is still wrapped in secrecy.
If the European court rules that Poland did indeed violate their rights, it is expected that Poland would be required to pay them thousands of euros. That ruling is estimated to take several months, if not longer.
All in all, 54 separate governments secretly helped the CIA with the rendition and torture operations.
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