Poland illegally helped CIA in torture, court rules

Poland allowed its territory to be used for CIA interrogation amounting to torture, the court said.
By Ed Adamczyk  |  July 24, 2014 at 11:57 AM
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STRASBOURG, France, July 24 (UPI) -- Poland broke the law in helping the CIA with secret transfers of terrorist suspects, the European Court for Human Rights ruled.

Judges of the Strasbourg, France, court said Poland broke the law in allowing two suspects, Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, to be interrogated on its territory in 2002 and 2003. Both are alleged al-Qaida members currently held at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The case is the first involving a CIA "black site" prison in Poland. The suspects claimed they were tortured in a facility near Stare Kiejkuty, Poland, and the court agreed "the treatment to which the applicants had been subjected by the CIA during their detention in Poland had amounted to torture."

A court statement added "the Polish state, on account of its acquiescence and connivance in the HVD (extraordinary rendition) Program, had to be regarded as responsible for the violation of the applicants' rights committed on its territory." It ordered the Polish government to pay Zubaydah and Nashiri 100,000 euros ($135,000) each in damages.

The ruling is "embarrassing for Poland," a spokeswoman for Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski said, and the Polish Foreign Ministry called the ruling "premature," noting an internal investigation, begun in 2008, was still in progress.

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