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Court: Poland violated human rights in CIA case


WARSAW, Poland (AP) -- Europe's top human rights court ruled Thursday that Poland violated the rights of two terror suspects by allowing the CIA to secretly imprison them on Polish soil from 2002-2003 and facilitating the conditions under which they were subject to torture.

The ruling by the European Court of Human Rights marked the first time any court has passed judgment on the so-called "renditions program" that President George W. Bush launched after the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The court, based in Strasbourg, France, said Poland violated the European Convention on Human Rights by failing to stop the "torture and inhuman or degrading treatment" of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri and Abu Zubaydah, who were transported to Poland in 2002.

CIA Prison In Poland Could Spell Trouble For Other Nations

It ordered Poland to pay 130,000 euros ($175,000) to Zubaydah, a Palestinian terror suspect, and 100,000 euros ($135,000) to al-Nashiri, a Saudi national charged with orchestrating the attack in 2000 on the USS Cole that killed 17 U.S. sailors.

Poland's Foreign Ministry said it could not immediately comment because its legal experts still needed to examine the more than 400-page ruling. It also said it had not yet decided whether to appeal the ruling to the Grand Chamber of the Court.

But President Bronislaw Komorowski called the judgment "embarrassing" to Poland, and damaging both financially and to its image.

It a statement explaining its ruling, the court said the interrogations and ill-treatment of the suspects at the facility in Stare Kiekuty, a remote village in northern Poland, was "the exclusive responsibility of the CIA and it was unlikely that the Polish officials had witnessed or known exactly what happened inside the facility."

It argued, however, that Poland should have ensured that individuals held in its jurisdiction would not be subjected to degrading treatment. "For all practical purposes, Poland had facilitated the whole process, had created the conditions for it to happen and had made no attempt to prevent it from occurring," the court said.

The court also faulted Poland for failing to conduct an effective investigation into the matter. The government launched an investigation in 2008 but there are no signs that it is close to coming to a conclusion.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Marcin Wojciechowski said the ruling was premature and that Poland should have been given the chance to make its own ruling first.

However, the human rights lawyers who brought the case to Strasbourg did so "after it became clear that Polish domestic investigations were turning into a cover-up," said Reprieve, a U.K-based legal group that represented Zubaydah in the case.

The lawyers for both suspects hailed the ruling.

"This is a historic ruling by the European Court of Human Rights, which has become the first court to confirm the existence of a secret CIA torture center on Polish soil between 2002 and 2003, where our client Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri was held and tortured," said Amrit Singh, a lawyer at the Open Society Justice Initiative who represented al-Nashiri.

One of Zubaydah's lawyesr, Joseph Margulies, said: "It's always gratifying when a court speaks truth to power. The question now is whether Poland will listen. The rule of law demands more than words on a page. It demands justice."

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hsena July 24 2014 at 10:43 AM

as far as i am concerned terriosts have no human rights. you do what ever it takes to get information out of them.

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11 replies
Doug July 24 2014 at 10:30 AM

Europe's top human rights court. That's a laugh and this is complete BS. Any CIA rights violations under George Bush were miniscule, I repeat, miniscule compared to the many violations of almost any government entity under Obama.

Flag Reply +26 rate up
21 replies
Sherman McDade July 24 2014 at 11:25 AM

Once again terrorists are rewarded huge sums of money for getting caught and put in prison. They were treated unfair and made to be incomfortable during their confinement. Don't that make you want to cry? Now they have money enough to help fund more killings of Americans. Where is the logic in this?

Flag Reply +26 rate up
4 replies
twooheight July 24 2014 at 11:19 AM

Why has the world court not fined Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Libya etc?? They all harbor terrorists that have taken prisoners and tortured them, some to death. And those who don't die from the torture are likely to have their heads cut off and thrown in a ditch or town square, bodies never to be recovered. Join a terror cell....lose your civil/human rights. Join a gang....lose your civil/human rights.

Flag Reply +21 rate up
3 replies
ram4131 July 24 2014 at 12:39 PM

Why do the sailors killed on the USS Cole get forgotten? Screw the terrorists.

Flag Reply +15 rate up
1 reply
rondonit ram4131 July 25 2014 at 12:58 AM

Who forgot them? The guys who did it spent over a Decade in Gitmo?

Flag Reply 0 rate up
rolson0581 July 24 2014 at 11:01 AM

How do two terrorists who are not citizens of the EU countries have any standing to seek anything under this court? Sounds like excuses for terrorists run amok.

Flag Reply +11 rate up
2 replies
generalp2 rolson0581 July 24 2014 at 5:18 PM

I agree. What kind of court is this that did nothing about 9-11? USS Cole? Attacks on Women? That attack on that Afghanistan school girl? The rapes in India? Who are they to put the U.S. on trial for responding to an attack on us? Sure the CIA used some extreme measures and I'll tell you what, attack us again and if we don't just do it again!

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rondonit rolson0581 July 25 2014 at 12:59 AM

By filing within the Jurisdiction where the Assault took place.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
leslie July 24 2014 at 10:50 AM

Why were these scumbags ever released?

Flag Reply +9 rate up
1 reply
Brian Workman leslie July 25 2014 at 12:27 AM

They should have beeen sho by a firing squad in 72 hours of capture!!

Flag Reply 0 rate up
vondrazy July 24 2014 at 10:40 AM

Of course the CIA (Corrupt Intimidation Agency) tortured people, is this a shock to anybody?!?!?

Flag Reply +8 rate up
4 replies
wilks2252 July 24 2014 at 1:39 PM

Doug your a true ******* Bush is the one who violated the rights if you remember Bush and his ******* buddy Dick as in ******** lied to all of us about getting involved in his Daddys war.I would rather have my President getting a ******** in the oval office then have my President send my family and friends to some ******* WAR.You know when Bill left office this country had money in its pocket,and to think you ******** continue to bad mouth Obama you people know no shame.

Flag Reply +8 rate up
4 replies
theron July 24 2014 at 11:31 AM

They should make Bush and Chaney pay the fines..

Flag Reply +4 rate up
6 replies
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