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

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

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.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More