Obama Justice Dept. Refuses to Help Polish Torture Probe
Friday, December 31, 2010
Aleksander Kwasniewski and George W. Bush (photo: Reuters)
Polish lawyers representing detainee Abu Zubaydah have been unsuccessful in getting help from the Department of Justice under President Barack Obama to confirm that the CIA held their client at a secret prison in northern Poland eight years ago.
Justice Department officials rejected a request from attorneys in Warsaw who are seeking evidence that Zubaydah was held and tortured at the abandoned Szymany air base in 2002.
The lawyers claim that the CIA transferred Zubaydah from Thailand to Poland on December 5, 2002, and kept him there for nine or ten months.
Another detainee, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, also has told Polish lawyers that he was secretly held in their country during the Bush administration’s war on terror. Both men were tortured using waterboarding and other techniques.
Both Zubaydah and Nashiri are currently imprisoned at the U.S. military jail at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba. Their lawyers are trying to prove that they were subjected to torture so that they will be granted the rights of torture victims as set out in Polish and international law including The European Convention on Human Rights and the United Nations’ Convention Against Torture.
In Poland, former Prime Minister Leszek Miller and former President Aleksander Kwasniewski have been criticized for the active support of the Bush administration’s torture program.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, David Wallechinsky
International Lawyers Launch Legal Action in Poland on Behalf of Abu Zubaydah (Human Rights House)
New Evidence of Torture Prison in Poland (by John Goetz and Britta Sandberg, Spiegel Online)
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