Poland And Torture?
I just caught a clip with Dick Marty, from the Council of Europe, where he discusses Poland’s involvement in the CIA’s programme of torture and rendition.
It certainly is very damning:
“On 7 March 2003 a CIA Gulfstream Jet landed at a remote airstrip in north-eastern Poland. Human rights officials and campaigners are convinced that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, one of the most senior al-Qaeda suspects, was on board.
American agents took him to a secret facility where, he says, he was tortured before being eventually transferred to Guantanamo Bay.
The secret transfer of CIA prisoners is said to have taken place in both Poland and Lithuania – a region where, only a generation ago, people were subject to arbitrary detention and torture at the hands of Communist secret police.
Now, seven years on, the full story of Poland’s secret detention site is emerging.
Dick Marty, the Council of Europe’s former Rapporteur on Torture, told the BBC: “If I use the judicial standard of proof – and I used to be a magistrate – then I say ‘Yes, Mohammed was in Poland. Yes, he was tortured.'”
Thomas Hammarberg, the Council of Europe’s Commissioner on Human Rights, said he now believed detainees had been subjected to “intense torture” and called for prosecutions.
The CIA’s Inspector General, the internal watchdog, has said he was subjected to “183 applications of the waterboard” in a single month, one of the so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques” then used by the CIA.
At the heart of the counter-terrorism programme launched in the wake of 9/11, believed to be codenamed Greystone, was a decision to use secret detention sites to hold what it termed “high-value detainees”.
Dick Marty’s reports have described them as a “global spider’s web” of clandestine sites, linked by secret rendition flights.
The BBC has seen logs which confirm that executive jets leased by the CIA landed at the isolated Szymany airstrip in north-east Poland between December 2002 and September 2003.”
This is the 2007 report [a PDF] from the Council of Europe’s Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights, Secret detentions and illegal transfers of detainees involving Council of Europe member states: second report.
The AFP has more.
Update 1: I covered a similar point before in, China’s Black Jails.