Fri, Jul 25, 2014 - Page 7 News List

European court rules that CIA ran secret jail in Poland

Reuters, WARSAW

The European Court of Human Rights yesterday ruled that the CIA ran a secret jail on Polish soil, a judgement that adds to pressure on Washington and its allies to reveal the truth about the global program for detaining al-Qaeda suspects.

The US has acknowledged the existence of its “extraordinary rendition” scheme in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, but has never revealed which of its allies hosted the secret detention facilities.

It is becoming harder to maintain that silence, especially after yesterday’s ruling by the Strasbourg-based court, which comes as a US Senate committee prepares to publish parts of a critical classified report about extraordinary rendition.


The court case was brought by two men, Saudi-born Abu Zubaydah, and Saudi national Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who alleged they were flown in secret to a CIA-run jail in a Polish forest and subjected to treatment that amounted to torture.

The two men, who are now in Guantanamo Bay, the US military prison on Cuba, brought the case against Poland for failing to prevent their illegal detention and torture and for failing to prosecute those responsible.


The court ruled that Poland had violated Articles of the European Convention on Human Rights that cover torture, the right to liberty and the right to an effective remedy for victims of crime.

It ordered Poland to pay al-Nashiri 100,000 euros (US$134,700) in damages and 130,000 euros to Zubaydah.

The court ruling did not cover the US, which is outside its jurisdiction.

The decision puts the Polish government in an awkward position. It has a close security relationship with the US and Polish officials have always denied the existence of any CIA jail on their territory.

The ruling may also have implications for other European states alleged to have hosted CIA prisons: Similar cases have been lodged with the court in Strasbourg against Romania and Lithuania.

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