Abd al Nashiri

2011-11-25 Al Nashiri asks ECHR to fast track his complaint against Poland

Abd al Nashiri, a suspect in the bombing of the USS Cole, has asked the European Court of Human Rights to fast track his complaint against Poland, TVP reports. He alleges to have been held and tortured in a prison facility operated by the CIA on Polish territory, and accuses Poland of a failure to investigate his case.

Abd al Nashiri is currently being held at Guantanamo, and could face the death penalty. According to documents seen by TVP, his lawyers ask the ECHR to influence Poland to protect al Nashiri through diplomatic contacts to the United States.

Another criminal investigation into the case is currently underway in Poland. The prosecutor in charge, Waldemar Tyl, has recently said that he expects the proceedings to be "completed" in 2012. He made this statement during a meeting with Alka Pradhan of the Constitution Project. The group is collecting evidence on CIA rendition, and has voiced criticism about the use of the State Secret Act to prevent an investigation on US soil.

For our previous coverage see this link.

2011-07-29 Investigation into Polish CIA prison extended

The investigation into an alleged CIA black site in the Masovian village of Stare Kiejkuty has been extended by six months, a spokesperson for the Warsaw prosecutor's office confirms to Polish press agency PAP.

According to a source quoted by PAP, the prosecution requires additional evidence and is at present unable to conclude the investigation. Even though the exact nature of this evidence remains obscure, it is likely to include witness statements of the alleged victims. As Polish public TV reports, the prosecution filed a request for mutual legal assistance to the US to hear Abu Zubaida and Abd al Nashiri in this capacity, and are waiting for a reply. Both are currently held in Guantanamo.

The prosecution has already admitted that more than ten CIA flights landed in Szymany airport, which may also have carried prisoners. Whereas this fact is evident from flight plans that are now freely available on the internet, it is more difficult to establish whether prisoners were tortured inside a potential detention facility, in particular if both the alleged victims and perpetrators cannot be heard.

2011-06-07 Poland, the CIA and the Abd al Nashiri case [Update]

The role of European countries in the rendition, detention and torture of alleged terrorists has been scrutinized numerous times. The most comprehensive overview was compiled by Swiss politician Dick Marty on behalf of the Council of Europe in 2006. This report is freely available on the internet.

This document describes a network of European countries facilitating extrajudicial measures taken by the CIA. If these allegations can be proven, they are in violation of national and international law.

In the above report, two European countries are said to have hosted so called "black sites" in which detainees would be subject to torture, Poland and Romania. The main arguments supporting these allegations are flight tables, from which can be proven that aircraft connected to the CIA landed at airports which are not normally used for international traffic of this scale.

These assumptions are also supported by eye witness accounts of airport employees, detainees, and others with a knowledge of these sites.

This information has been in the public domain for years, but there have not been any serious legal consequences for those involved. Even though a parliamentary committee investigation in Lithuania concluded that there were at least two black sites in the country, this did not lead to a prosecution. (Lithuania is not mentioned in the Marty report as these prisons were in operation in 2005 and 2006, during and after the report was written).

Of these three countries, Poland's role has been scrutinized most in the international press:

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