Breaking: CIA Tortured Abu Zubaydah at a Prison in Poland

Earlier today, the European Court of Human Rights ordered Poland to pay Abu Zubaydah and Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri a combined total of 230,000 Euros for facilitating the torture suffered at Stare Kiejkuty.

The court found Poland violated its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights to prevent torture, ensure the right to liberty, and properly investigate allegations a crime had been committed on its territory.

It ordered Poland to pay al-Nashiri 100,000 euros in damages and 130,000 euros to Zubaydah.

“The ruling of the tribunal in Strasbourg on CIA jails is embarrassing for Poland and is a burden both in terms of our country’s finances as well as its image,” said Joanna Trzaska-Wieczorek, a spokeswoman for the Polish president.

Of course, that Poland hosted one of CIA’s black sites is not breaking news at all. We’ve known it for years.

But this is an official judgment affirming that to be true. Finally, a court has called America’s torture torture.

The judgment comes as the CIA dawdles over declassifying the Senate Intelligence Committee’s torture report. One reason for the delay, prior reporting has said, comes from a desire to protect our foreign partners in crimes — notably the UK and Poland.

So now that Poland’s role has been confirmed, can we please get the torture report?

Marcy Wheeler is an independent journalist writing about national security and civil liberties. She writes as emptywheel at her eponymous blog, publishes at outlets including Vice, Motherboard, the Nation, the Atlantic, Al Jazeera, and appears frequently on television and radio. She is the author of Anatomy of Deceit, a primer on the CIA leak investigation, and liveblogged the Scooter Libby trial.

Marcy has a PhD from the University of Michigan, where she researched the “feuilleton,” a short conversational newspaper form that has proven important in times of heightened censorship. Before and after her time in academics, Marcy provided documentation consulting for corporations in the auto, tech, and energy industries. She lives with her spouse in Grand Rapids, MI.

3 replies
  1. Anonsters says:

    So now that Poland’s role has been confirmed, can we please get the torture report?

    “No.
    .
    Love,
    .
    -The Intelligence Community.”

  2. What Constitution? says:

    To say that the amount of money assessed — 230,000 Euros total for both tortured humans — is “small change” for the government of Poland is an obvious understatement. It will be interesting to see whether Poland pays this in an effort to demonstrate a commitment to rejoining the community of civilized nations, or whether Poland instead spends hundreds of times more than this amount to fight this economically trivial order. And to see what portion of Poland’s defiance is demanded (and funded?) by the US. After all, Poland already has demonstrated how little it cares about the well-being of the humans it allowed the US to torture there, and how much it cares about suborning the US’s activities in deference to power. Maybe Poland could institute a claim for reimbursement against the US in this same court?

  3. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Parsimonious the court seems. How much is that when computed as X dollars per waterboarding? Nevertheless, imagine the pressure the ECHR was under to find a John Roberts-like way to avoid using the word torture, let alone concluding it was done and by whom. It’s a courage we should see more of here, from judges, lawyers, editors and journalists.

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