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The Warsaw Voice » Politics » March 1, 2013
Politics & Society
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Poland Angry Over Files on Alleged CIA Jails
March 1, 2013   
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The Polish authorities have hit out at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg after it decided to declassify documents related to a complaint filed by a Guantanamo detainee who claims he was detained and tortured at a secret CIA jail in Poland.

The U.S. administration believes that Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who is detained in the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, engineered a terrorist attack on the USS Cole, an American warship, in 2000 in Yemen that killed 17 sailors.

Saudi-born Al-Nashiri was caught two years later in Dubai. According to various news organizations, in December 2002 he was taken to a secret CIA prison in Poland and was kept there until June 2003. Al-Nashiri’s lawyers claim that while in Poland he was interrogated and subjected to treatment that amounted to torture.

Poland’s Deputy Foreign Minister Maciej Szpunar said that, by deciding in late January to make all information provided by the Polish government public, the European Court of Human Rights had made it difficult for Poland to cooperate with it. “We will be far more careful now,” said Szpunar. “We need to bear in mind that all information we give to the court will be publicly available.”

Polish prosecutors started a criminal investigation in August 2008 to determine if the national authorities had allowed secret CIA facilities to be established in Poland and agreed to terror suspects being tortured there. In 2011, al-Nashiri’s lawyers filed a complaint to the European Court of Human Rights complaining that the Polish investigation was slow and ineffective.

At the time when the CIA jails allegedly operated in Poland, Poland’s prime minister was Leszek Miller, the current head of the opposition Democratic Left Alliance (SLD) party. Commenting on the European Court of Human Rights decision, Miller insisted, as he has many times before, that no secret CIA prisons had ever existed in Poland. He said he had never agreed to provide the United States, a key ally of Poland, with help in running such jails in Poland.

Former Polish President Aleksander Kwa¶niewski has also repeatedly denied that Poland hosted secret CIA prisons.
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