Poland’s secret CIA prisons

An American diplomatic cable dated December 13th 2005 reads: “[The] rendition and ‘CIA prisons’ issue will continue to dog the Polish government, despite our and the Poles’ best effort to put this story to rest.”  The existence of “black sites” in East European countries” where the CIA practiced torture was revealed at the time by the Washington Post. Later Human Rights Watch specifically named Poland along with Romania. Back then the authorities in Warsaw denied everything : no sites, no torture, just “speculation.”

Four years into the investigation in Poland and nine years since the alleged tortures, neither government acknowledges anything much about what amounted to American-Polish complicity in violating basic and inalienable human rights. However, many institutions did their own research on rendition and CIA prisons and none of their conclusions have ever been challenged. Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the Council of Europe, the European Parliament, the UN’s Committee Against Torture. the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Inspector General of the CIA, Open Society Justice Initiative and the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights in Warsaw are all in agreement that “stuff happened.”

According to these sources, between December 2002 and September 2003, the CIA flew at least 11 prisoners in disguised planes, which were “on state business‘. The planes landed at the small Szymany airport and the prisoners were taken a half an hour’s drive to a Polish intelligence training base in Stare Kiejkuty, an otherwise bucolic spot by a lake in north eastern Poland. Here they were tortured using a whole gamut of techniques from prolonged shackling and/or nudity to waterboarding, and within days, weeks or months flown out – in effect, kidnapped – to other countries. All of the above are violations of human rights, irrespective of the very serious crimes of which these detainees may be accused. The mere act of transferring anyone to a country where they risk capital punishment is a violation of the European Human Rights Convention.

Read More: The Economist

FYI: Szymany airport: plane tail #’s  N63MU, N379P, N313P and N8213G

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