Poland Let CIA Run 'Black Site', Torture Men: Court
Al-Qaeda members' human rights were violated, tribunal rules
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 24, 2014 12:44 PM CDT
This Nov. 3, 2005, file photo shows the control tower of the airport in Szymany in northeastern Poland, near a closed CIA "black site."   (AP Photo, File)

(Newser) – Poland has denied that it let the CIA run a "black site" on its soil, where two suspected members of al-Qaeda claim they were tortured, but the European Court of Human Rights came to a different conclusion today, blasting Poland for human rights violations. The ruling awarded $175,000 to Abu Zubaydah, accused of grooming 9/11 attackers, and $135,000 to Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, the alleged mastermind behind the USS Cole bombing. Both are now being held in Guantanamo Bay, reports Reuters. Poland's former PM wasn't having the "unjust" ruling: "It's immoral because the tribunal put the rights of murderers above the rights of victims," he said, as per the AP.

Lawyers said al-Nashiri and Zubaydah were subjected to waterboarding, mock executions, and had loaded guns held to their heads, adds the BBC. The Bush administration had talked up the benefits of lesser rights afforded prisoners held in other countries, but enforcing a 2009 order signed by President Obama to eliminate black sites has yet to result in a single investigation. The ruling doesn't directly affect the US, which is outside the court's jurisdiction, but it could have implications for other European nations that might have also colluded with the CIA. The ruling "is embarrassing for Poland and is a burden both in terms of our country's finances, as well as its image," a spokeswoman for the Polish president said.