Polish Prosecutor Will Investigate Torture Of Guantánamo Prisoner
NEW YORK - The
Polish prosecutor will investigate the detention and torture of Abd
al-Rahim al-Nashiri at a black site in Poland after he was kidnapped and
transported there by the CIA. This is the first time an extraordinary
rendition victim's claims have been recognized in an official
investigation in Poland. In response to the announcement, the American
Civil Liberties Union called for accountability in the U.S. for
top-level officials who may have known about and authorized torture, and
for cooperation with the Polish prosecutor in securing documents and
witnesses in the ongoing investigation.
In civil litigation, the Obama
administration has continued to shield the Bush administration officials
who knew about and authorized torture, most recently using the state
secrets claim to block an ACLU lawsuit on behalf of five rendition
victims. And while some low-ranking soldiers have been sent to prison
for their roles in torture, no senior official has thus far been charged
with any crime in connection with the torture program.
Al-Nashiri, who is accused in the
2000 U.S.S. Cole bombing, was granted the status of "injured party" in
Poland's ongoing investigation into torture in response to a September
21 petition from his lawyers.
The following can be attributed to Jameel Jaffer, Deputy Legal Director at the ACLU:
"Today's announcement that Poland
will investigate the torture of Mr. al-Nashiri serves as a stark
reminder of how little has been done in the U.S. to hold top officials
accountable for torture. Holding torturers accountable is essential to
restoring American credibility at home and abroad – the U.S. can no
longer remain silent as, one by one, other nations begin to reckon with
their own agents' complicity in the torture program through prosecutions
and judicial inquiries."
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.