Rights Group Seeks Polish Probe of CIA Detainee's Treatment
VOA News 21 September 2010
A human rights group is demanding that Polish prosecutors investigate the treatment of a Saudi man held at a one-time secret CIA prison in Poland.
The Open Society Justice Initiative and a Polish lawyer working with it filed a petition on Tuesday with prosecutors in Warsaw. They asked the prosecutors to probe the detention and alleged torture of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri in Poland.
Al-Nashiri is accused in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen, and was transferred to Poland and held at the CIA's now-closed secret "black site" prison there. The rights group said that he was detained and tortured by the CIA at its secret Polish prison near the Szymany airport sometime between 2002 and 2006.
Polish prosecutors have been examining the country's involvement in the now-shuttered system of secret U.S. prisons. Polish news accounts have said that authorities are considering possible war crimes charges against key former officials, including former President Aleksander Kwasniewski.
The CIA has acknowledged that it used harsh interrogation methods against al-Nashiri, including the simulated drowning technique of waterboarding while he was held in Thailand.
Al-Nashiri has been held at the U.S. detention facility for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba for the last three years.
The Associated Press quoted Polish prosecutor Jerzy Mierzewski as saying he likely would wrap a probe of al-Nashiri's treatment into his ongoing investigation of Polish officials' connection to the CIA facility.
Polish officials have acknowledged that the CIA used Poland as a base for flights after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States. But former prime minister Leszek Miller has denied there were secret CIA prisons in Poland.
Seventeen U.S. sailors were killed in the USS Cole attack in Yemen.
Some information for this report was provided by AP.
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