For Immediate Release
Counsel Calls On Polish Prosecutor To Investigate Torture Of Detainee At CIA Black Site
Obama Administration Should Broaden U.S. Investigation, Says ACLU
NEW YORK - Counsel
for accused USS Cole bombing plotter Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri today
called on the Polish government to investigate and prosecute Polish
officials who knew about and authorized al-Nashiri’s detention and
torture in Poland after he was kidnapped and transported there by the
CIA. In response to the announcement, the American Civil Liberties Union
today called on the Obama administration to broaden its own
investigation into the Bush-era torture program to include top-level
U.S. government officials who may have known about and authorized such
According to the petition filed by al-Nashiri’s counsel with the
appellate prosecutor in Warsaw, multiple publicly available sources
indicate that at some time between November 2002 and September 2006
al-Nashiri was held and interrogated in a secret CIA site in Poland,
where he was subjected to mock executions including having a gun and an
electric drill held to his head while hooded and naked.
Poland is already conducting an investigation into possible abuse of
power by Polish public officials who knew about the secret CIA site
there, and today’s petition calls for an investigation specifically into
their role in al-Nashiri’s abuse. Poland is one of several nations
investigating its own government officials for complicity with the U.S.
The Obama administration has continued to shield Bush administration
officials who knew about and authorized torture. An ongoing U.S. Justice
Department investigation of the torture program excludes top-level
The following can be attributed to Jameel Jaffer, Deputy Legal Director of the ACLU:
“The Polish investigation and today’s petition serve as a stark reminder
of how little is being done in the U.S. to hold government officials
accountable for the Bush torture program. Although it has disavowed
torture, the Obama administration continues to shield Bush era officials
from judicial scrutiny for their role in authorizing and carrying it
out. While other nations investigate their own complicity with torture,
the U.S. government continues to suppress documents that would allow the
public to understand the full scope of the torture program and
continues to use the 'state secrets' privilege to block litigation
brought by survivors of the Bush administration’s torture program. The
U.S. should take its cue from Poland and the rest of the world, and hold
accountable high-level officials who authorized torture.”
Al-Nashiri is currently detained at Guantánamo, where he is slated for trial in the military commissions system.
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