Guantánamo

Poland appeals ruling on transfer of terror suspects

Zayn al Abdeen Mohammed al Hussein, known as Abu Zubaydah, in a photo from his leaked Guantánamo prison profile provided to McClatchy newspapers by Wikileaks.
Zayn al Abdeen Mohammed al Hussein, known as Abu Zubaydah, in a photo from his leaked Guantánamo prison profile provided to McClatchy newspapers by Wikileaks. MCT

The Polish government has appealed a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that the country violated the rights of two terrorism suspects by transferring them to a so-called black site in northeast Poland run by the CIA, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Friday.

The court ruled in July that the two men had suffered “torture and inhuman or degrading treatment” while held at the site. It was the first such ruling involving a European country that had participated in the CIA’s “extraordinary rendition” program, in which terrorism suspects were secretly interrogated at facilities outside the United States and beyond the reach of U.S. constitutional protections.

Mateusz Martyniuk, a spokesman for the Polish chief prosecutor’s office, said the country would also appeal a ruling that it had not cooperated with the European court’s investigation of the case. Martyniuk said that Poland could not turn over the documents that the court requested because of their highly sensitive and classified nature.

“It was a matter of national security,” he said.

The two suspects, Abd al Rahim al Nashiri and Zayn al Abdeen Mohammed al Hussein, known as Abu Zubaydah, got to the U.S. military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, in September 2006 after years at CIA lockups.

Nashiri, a Saudi citizen, is in pretrial proceedings for a death-penalty tribunal for alleging he planned the 2000 attack on the U.S. destroyer Cole. Abu Zubaydah, who was born in Saudi Arabia, is believed to have run facilities in Pakistan that funneled potential recruits to Afghanistan. He has never been charged with a crime.

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