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

As US Strikes Syria, China Sees Parallels at Home

Beijing is debating how much support to give international coalition against IS militants and trying to figure out how many Chinese nationals may have joined group overseas More

CDC: Ebola Could Infect 1.4 M by 2015

US health officials say if efforts to curb the outbreak are not increased, cases will soar dramatically by early next year More

Video USAID Provides $231 Million for Girls Education in 5 Countries

US Agency for International Development partners with celebrities to call attention to importance of education for girls worldwide 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.
NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbiti
X
September 22, 2014 9:20 PM
NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA’s MAVEN Probe Enters Mars Orbit

NASA’s newest Mars probe, called MAVEN, has successfully entered its designated orbit around the Red Planet. Scientists will use its sophisticated instruments to try to learn what happened to the atmosphere Mars had a few billion years ago. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video For West Ukraine City, Conflict Far Away Yet Near

The western Ukrainian city of Lviv prides itself on being both physically and culturally close to Western Europe. The Russian-backed separatists in the eastern part of the country are 1,200 kilometers away, and seemingly even farther away in their world view. Still, as VOA’s Al Pessin reports, the war is having an impact in Lviv.
Video

Video Saving Global Fish Stocks Starts in the Kitchen

With an estimated 90 percent of the world’s larger fish populations having already vanished, a growing number of people in the seafood industry are embracing the concept of sustainable fishing and farming practices. One American marine biologist turned restaurateur in Thailand is spreading the word among fellow chefs and customers. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Chinese Admiral Key in China’s Promotion of Sea Links

China’s President last week wrapped up landmark visits to India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, part of a broader campaign to promote a new “Maritime Silk Road” in Asia. The Chinese government’s promotion efforts rely heavily on the country’s best-known sailor, a 15th century eunuch named Zheng He. VOA's Bill Ide reports from the sailor’s hometown in Yunnan on the effort to promote China’s future by recalling its past.
Video

Video Experts Fear Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid