Prisoners Accuse Poland of Complicity In Rendition

Strasbourg, France  - Two men who were subjected to extraordinary rendition and torture by US intelligence services in Poland a decade ago have accused Poland of being complicit in the abuse.

Abd Al Rahim Hussayn Muhammad Al Nashiri, a Saudi Arabian national of Yemeni descent, and Zayn Al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn, a Saudi Arabian-born Palestinian, are being held by the United States at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp on suspicion of terrorism.

Their lawyers represented them Tuesday at hearing into their case against Poland at the European Court of Human Rights.

Al Nashiri is the main suspect in the 2000 terrorist attack on the US navy destroyer USS Cole. He was captured in Dubai in October 2002 and charged in 2008 before a military commission.

Husayn is believed by the US to be one of the architects of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. He was arrested in Pakistan in 2002, but was never charged.

The two men said they were taken by the CIA to Poland in December 2002 and held for several months at a secret CIA prison, which a Council of Europe report has since identified as the Stare Kiejkuty intelligence training base.

At the camp, both suspects were subjected to various forms of torture, including "waterboarding" - a procedure that imitates drowning, whose use against the pair was confirmed in a 2004 CIA report.

The case in Strasbourg centres on Poland's role in their rendition, as the transfer of terrorist suspects for interrogation in other countries became known.

The detainees accused Poland of "knowingly and intentionally" allowing the CIA to hold them incommunicado, without any legal basis, for six and nine months respectively.

Poland had also "knowingly and intentionally" enabled the CIA to take them out of the country again, despite knowing they risked further torture and being denied a fair trial, they said.

Poland, which has always denied involvement in renditions, rejected the allegations.

A 2006 investigation by the Council of Europe said 14 European countries, including Britain, Germany and Poland, colluded in the transfer of CIA prisoners across European territory.

The ECHR is not due to issue a ruling in the case for several months.

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