News / Europe

    EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

    FILE - General view of the plenary room of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, Nov. 27, 2013.
    FILE - General view of the plenary room of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, Nov. 27, 2013.
    VOA News

    In a landmark ruling, Europe's top human rights court has found Poland violated the rights of two terrorism suspects by allowing the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency to secretly imprison them in the country more than a decade ago.

    The European Court of Human Rights says Poland violated the European Convention on Human Rights by allowing terrorism suspects Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri and Abu Zubaydah to be secretly imprisoned on its territory between 2002 and 2003.  The two are now inmates at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention camp operated by the U.S. military.

    They claim they were captured and then flown to a secret jail run by the Central Intelligence Agency in a Polish forest, where they were tortured and mistreated.

    The court, which is based in Strasbourg, France, blames Poland for facilitating the process.  It ordered Warsaw to pay fines to the two men.

    The ruling is the first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at so-called CIA black sites - under a program launched by Washington following the September 2011 terrorist attacks.  The United States has acknowledged the program existed, but has not named the countries that cooperated with it.
     
    Lawyers for the two suspects and rights groups hailed the ruling.  

    "For years and years and years, we have sought accountability for these practices in the USA  - there has been virtually no accountability there," said Amnesty International's terrorism and human rights expert, Julia Hal.  "So, to have a European government, and in fact an EU member state, found responsible is quite a significant step forward."

    Poland's Foreign Ministry said its legal experts need to fully examine the ruling before commenting.  But President Bronislaw Komorowski called it "embarrassing."  The court also said Poland's own investigation into the allegations is ineffective.

    Rights experts like Hall say the ruling may have implications for Guantanamo Bay trials against terrorism suspects like al-Nashiri.  He is accused of orchestrating an attack on a U.S. warship in 2000 that killed 17 American sailors.

    "The fact that the European Court has ruled he was disappeared, he was tortured, and otherwise ill treated - all of that information will be very relevant to the proceedings in Guantanamo in terms of mitigating the death penalty, which is really the ultimate human rights violation as far as Amnesty International is concerned," she said.

    The ruling may also have implications for other European countries suspected of participating in CIA secret detentions. 

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Not again from: Canada
    July 24, 2014 8:31 PM
    In my view-
    Poland needs to absolutely re-assert its full jurisdiction over security matters, when dealing with issues that affect its security, its alliances, its comittments, and country to country agreements.
    If Poland, and other European countries, do not opt out of the jurisdiction of the EU court on security, their security envelope will be severly damaged by leaks, and by decisions requiring disclosure of sensitive information.
    The court is clearly not likely to protect Poland's "particular interests", the court will go for the lowest common denominator, and apply rulings and directives that are not at all applicable to the situation of Poland and its particular best interests.
    The Polish gvmt, and others, need to stand up for the sovereign rights of the nation, when it comes to their unique and specific conditions, as caused by their geoghraphical location and need to establish security arrangements it sees fit and necesary; and enter into security and defense agreements it sees fit and ncessary, with conditions that it may see fit and necessary, including not to disclose, to parties outside the agreement, nor allow their jurisdiction.
    Just look at the very different way that the EU's Western countries are dealing with the Ukrainian security crisis, totally contrary to what the Polish gvmt has advised.
    For as long as Poland does not re-assert its sole jurisdiction, on security issues, it risks not being able to strike country to country agreements, no one wants to partner, on security issues, with a leaky partner.
    This particular action, against Poland, absolutely and clearly demonstrates the type of negative situation that Poland faces and will face in the future. DO NOT ACCEPT JURISDICTION. Your people did not give their lives for your freedom, so that others would dictate your security needs..

    by: Ali bAba from: new york
    July 24, 2014 5:12 PM
    terrorism is a threat for many countries. CIA has the right to use any means necessary to protect the country .Human right court is wrong. .look and see what ISIL did? what Talban did? Are we going to give terrorism ice cream for obsession to kill and torture . we have to get tougher

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora