Lawyers for the two men being held at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba -- Abd al-Rahim Hussayn Muhammad al-Nashiri, a Saudi Arabian national of Yemeni descent, and Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn, also known as Abu Zubaydah, a stateless Palestinian -- told the European Court of Human Rights during a two-day hearing in Strasbourg, France, that ended Tuesday that the responsibility rests with Poland for permitting enhanced interrogation methods such as waterboarding and mock executions to be used on detainees at a military base at Stare Kiejkuty, north of Warsaw, The Guardian reported.
Al-Nashiri is a suspect in the terrorist attack on the U.S. Navy's USS Cole in Yemen in October 2000 and an attack on the French oil tanker MV Limburg in the Gulf of Aden in October 2002.
Husayn allegedly was an important member of al-Qaida with a planning role in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on the United States.
They contend that after being apprehended by the CIA they were flown on the same "rendition" plane in December 2002 to a secret detention site in Poland, with the knowledge of the Polish authorities, where they were subsequently tortured during interrogation.
The British newspaper said Amrit Singh of the Open Society Justice Initiative who represented al-Nashiri, said her client had been repeatedly tortured.
"The court heard expert testimony [on Monday] confirming how Polish officials filed false flight plans and assisted in the coverup of CIA operations," Singh said. "In a secluded villa, hidden from sight, CIA interrogators subjected him to torture: to mock executions while he stood naked and hooded before them; to painful stress positions that nearly dislocated his arms from his shoulders; and to threats of bringing in his mother to sexually abuse her in front of him."
Padraig Hughes, a lawyer with Interights who presented Husayn, said before the hearing: "We hope that the court's ruling will make it clear that the actions by the Polish authorities were a clear violation of human rights and should never be repeated by any country that properly respects human rights and the rule of law."
Crofton Black, a researcher with the London human rights organization Reprieve who sat in on the first, closed day of the hearing said the court heard "overwhelming and uncontested evidence that the CIA was running a secret torture prison on Polish soil, with the Polish government's knowledge."
"Despite being given many opportunities to do so, the Polish government has failed to contest that it knew prisoners were being held beyond the rule of law and tortured by the CIA inside their own country," Black said.
A Polish official told the court his country was the only European state that was "conducting a real investigation" into the rendition issue, and its work was hindered by the difficulty of talking to the detainees, The Guardian said. Relations between Poland and the United States are subject to secrecy, he said.
The court is expected to rule at a later time.
The Open Society group said in a report issued in February at least 54 countries have helped the United States in its extraordinary rendition and secret detention programs. The report named 136 individuals detained under the programs.
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