Gitmo detainees sue Poland over CIA rendition

Two terror suspects say they were waterboarded, subjected to mock executions, and told their family would be raped

Topics: Poland, strasbourg, European Court of Human Rights, Human Rights, Torture, Guantanamo, Extraordinary Rendition, CIA, Black sites, Waterboarding,

Gitmo detainees sue Poland over CIA renditionDetainees sit in a holding area at Camp X-Ray, inside Guantanamo Bay. (Credit: Reuters/Shane T. McCoy)

Two men currently detained at Guantanamo Bay are taking Poland to the European Court of Human Rights over their extraordinary rendition by the CIA in a Polish black site.

According to the men’s lawyer the men were subjected to waterboarding torture, mock executions and were told that their families would be sexually abused.

“European support for the CIA’s torture programme is one of the darkest chapters of our recent history – it is encouraging that the court now looks set to bring it to light, where the [Polish] government has sought to sweep it under the carpet,” said human rights group Reprieve’s Crofton Black.

Poland will not be the first country to face scrutiny at the Strasbourg court over its role in aiding CIA torture. Macedonia was last year found to have violated the rights of Khaled al-Masri, a Lebanese-born German citizen, and was ordered to pay him 60,000 Euros ($82,000).

Although extraordinary rendition was a Bush-era CIA policy, the U.S. has continually avoided accountability for its torturous treatment of suspects in black sites around the world. El-Masri, for example, had taken his case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court with the help of the ACLU after it was consistently thrown out by U.S. courts under the now-infamous “state secrets” doctrine, which allowed the government to have the case dismissed without ever getting to the merits.

Natasha Lennard

Natasha Lennard is an assistant news editor at Salon, covering non-electoral politics, general news and rabble-rousing. Follow her on Twitter @natashalennard, email nlennard@salon.com.

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