The people of Poland are expressing outrage on Friday as news spread that their own government is on the verge of paying more than $250,000 to victims of CIA torture which took place at an agency black site in the country even as the U.S. government refuses to acknowledge the crime or take responsibility for the grave human rights abuses that took place under the Bush administration.
The European Court of Human Rights imposed the penalty against Poland for its role in the torture of two individuals— Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri—both of whom were rendered by the CIA to a secret location in Poland in the wake of 9/11 attacks. Taken into custody overseas as “suspected terrorists,” the men remain detained by the U.S. government in the offshore prison at Guantanamo Bay.
According to the Associated Press, “It irks many in Poland that their country is facing legal repercussions for the secret rendition and detention program which the CIA operated under then-President George W. Bush in several countries across the world after the 9/11 attacks. So far no U.S. officials have been held accountable, but the European Court of Human Rights has shown that it doesn’t want to let European powers that helped the program off the hook.”
AP‘s reporting continues:
Though Poland long fought off charges of its complicity with the CIA’s torture and rendition program, all indications now show that it will now submit to the court’s order and make the payment. According to the Los Angeles Times:
According to UPI’s reporting, “Kwasniewski is still liable for a possible jail sentence for his complicity in the CIA site, and his denial of its existence during a 2006 European Parliament investigation.”
Though the highly cited AP headline used the phrase “alleged torture” in its headline, human rights activists took issue with the qualifying language.
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