Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Poland knew about CIA torture prison on its soil, secret court session hears

The following is a press release today from the UK prisoners support group, Reprieve, which has been in the forefront in exposing the crimes of torture and rendition. The story concerns a very important case in Poland concerning torture that took place at a CIA black site prison on Polish soil. The CIA's presence was apparently known and allowed by Polish authorities. As described below, Abu Zubaydah and his attorneys have sued Poland in the European Court of Human Rights for allowing the torture prison.

Abu Zubaydah, who is currently held as a "high-value detainee" at Guantanamo's Camp Seven, is also in the news because of the blockbuster release of all six of his pre-capture diaries, published by Al Jazeera America. Jason Leopold has been analyzing these diaries in a number of articles that are important reading for a deep look into the mind and struggles of this man, who was so often vilified in the early days of the "war on terror," and horrifically tortured as part of an experimental program by the CIA. -- I'll have more to write about these diaries myself in coming days.

Reprieve's press release:
A court has heard “overwhelming and uncontested evidence” of the existence on European soil of a CIA “black site,” used to torture prisoners – with the knowledge of host-government Poland.

Sitting in a secret session closed to public and press, the European Court of Human Rights yesterday heard from a range of expert witnesses – who cannot currently be named – that a CIA torture prison existed in Poland, and that the Polish Government was aware of it and the uses to which it was being put.

The account of yesterday’s secret hearing is provided by Reprieve investigator Crofton Black, who has been researching the issue of secret prisons in Europe during the ‘War on Terror’ and was allowed access.

Dr Black said: “We have now 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. It has also become clear that the Polish Government’s investigation into the issue was in reality nothing more than a smoke-screen, which was neither designed nor intended to get to the truth.

“European support for the CIA’s torture programme is one of the darkest chapters of our recent history – it is encouraging that the court now looks set to bring it to light, where the government has sought to sweep it under the carpet.”

Abu Zubaydah v. Poland is the first time a European country has been taken to court for allowing the CIA to run a torture site on its territory. Declassified US government documents and Reprieve’s renditions investigations demonstrate that current Guantanamo detainee Mr Zubaydah was flown from a CIA prison site in Thailand to one in Poland in Dec. 2002. The fact that Poland knowingly hosted this prison means that it is directly responsible for the violations of his rights that took place there in 2002-2003.

Today (3 December) saw the second day of a two-day hearing, the first day of which was held in a closed court.

No comments:

Search for Info/News on Torture

Google Custom Search
Add to Google ">View blog reactions

This site can contain copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. I am making such material available in my effort to advance understanding of political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. I believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.