In late July of 2014, the European Court of Human Rights ruled on a case involving two terrorism suspects detained at a C.I.A prison in Poland (Bilefsky 2015). The two men are Abu Zubaydah, believed to have operated guesthouses in Pakistan for terrorist recruits, and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who is accused of plotting to bomb the American destroyer Cole in 2000. Both men were taken to a C.I.A prison in Poland where they were detained, and according to General Michael V. Hayden (a former C.I.A director), subjected to harsh forms of interrogation such as waterboarding. In response to this, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Poland has violated the rights of these two men by allowing them to be put into this secret C.I.A-run detention center located in Poland, where they were subsequently tortured for information.
This controversial case is directly related to cases of extraordinary rendition involving deportation and torture of suspects by the United States that we have studied in class. We have discussed torture and its legality in documents such as the Geneva Convention and the Convention against Torture. According to these documents, Poland as well as the United States should be held accountable for acts of torture committed to these two men. These men were subject to intentional physical and mental torture that was inflicted by C.I.A officials for the purpose of gaining information. According to the Convention against Torture as well as the Geneva Convention, this is prohibited and should be dealt with through effective legislative, administrative, or judicial action by the state.
In addition, the Convention against Torture states that no state shall deport or return a person to another state if there is reason to believe that they will be tortured. In this case, the United States knew these men would be tortured and specifically sent them to a C.I.A “black site” prison in Poland so they would be able to torture their prisoners off the record. For these blatant breaches of these very important documents studied in class, I believe that both the United States and Poland should be held accountable for their cruel and inhumane actions towards these prisoners.
Bilefsky, Dan. “Court Censures Poland Over C.I.A. Renditions.” The New York Times(2014): A 13. The New York Times. Web. 15 September 2015.