4 August 2014

ECtHR holds Poland complicit in CIA black site cases

On 24 July 2014, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) found that Poland violated its obligations under the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) by cooperating with the United States in the running of so-called “CIA black sites” on Polish territory.

In the combined cases of Al Nashiri v. Poland and Husayn (Abu Zubaydah) v. Poland, the plaintiffs alleged that they were tortured and mistreated while being held in a secret detention facility at the Stare Kiejkuty intelligence training base near the town of Szcytno in northern Poland. Poland has consistently denied the existence of the secret detention facility.

The ECtHR ruled that Poland had cooperated in the preparation and execution of the CIA rendition, secret detention and  interrogation operations on its territory and it ought to have known that by enabling the CIA to detain the applicants on its territory, it was exposing them to a serious risk of treatment contrary to the ECHR.

The ECtHR determined that Poland failed to comply with  Article 38 ECHR, which creates an obligation to funish all necessary facilities for the conduct of an effective investigation. It also held that Poland violated Articles 3, 6, 8 and 13 ECHR with respect to both plaintiffs. The ECtHR ordered the payment of reparations to the plaintiffs, both of whom are currently detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

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Source: Al Nashiri v. Poland | App. No. 28761/11 | Judgment | ECtHR | 24 July 2014

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