The European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) is expected to rule early next year on a case concerning Poland’s alleged role in the ‘rendition’ of two men suspected of terrorist acts.
In the case heard this week Al Nashiri v Poland and Husayn (Abu Zubaydah) v Poland, it is alleged that the country played a central role in a CIA programme of incommunicado detention and torture.
Both men are currently detained in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Their applications were lodged with the European court on 6 May 2011 and on 28 January 2013.
Nashiri and Zubaydah claim that Poland knowingly and intentionally enabled the CIA to hold them in secret detention; enabled their transfer from Polish territory despite the real risk of further ill-treatment; and failed to conduct an effective investigation into the circumstances surrounding their ill-treatment.
International legal human rights organisation Interights is representing Zubaydah. Pádraig Hughes, a lawyer with Interights, said: ‘Despite the best efforts of Poland to hide its involvement in the US-led extraordinary rendition programme, there is clear evidence of its complicity.
‘The ECtHR now has an opportunity to examine that evidence properly and to ensure that Poland is held accountable for its involvement in Abu Zubaydah’s torture and ill-treatment.
‘We hope that the court’s ruling will make it clear that the actions by the Polish authorities were a clear violation of human rights and should never be repeated by any country that properly respects human rights and the rule of law.’