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Poland condemned by ECHR for hosting secret CIA prison


The European Court of Human Rights, in a non-final ruling, condemned Poland for failing to fulfill its obligations by allowing the CIA to open a secret prison (code name "Quartz") on its territory.

The Court received the cases of the Palestinian Abu Zubaydah and the Saudi national Al-Nashiri who provided proof of their detention in Poland in 2002 and 2003, and of having been tortured. The proof was based in particular on Senator Dick Marty’s report to the Council of Europe [1].

The Polish government had authorized the CIA to open a prison within the Intelligence Agency Training Center of Stare Kiejkuty, not far from the northern town of Szczytno.

Abu Zubaydah had been kidnapped in Dubai and Al-Nashiri in Pakistan.

In both cases, the Court concluded that Poland did not fulfill her obligation arising from Article 38 of the European Convention on Human Rights (i.e. to furnish all the necessary facilities for the effective conduct of the survey).

In both cases, the Court further concluded that there had been:
- Violation of Article 3 of the Convention (prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment), under its material and procedural aspects;
- Violation of Article 5 (right to liberty and personal security);
- Infringement of Article 8 (right to the respect for private and family life);
- Violation of Article 13 (right to an effective remedy); and
- Violation of Article 6 § 1 (right to a fair trial).

With regard to Mr. Al-Nashiri, the Court further noted an infringement of Articles 2 (right to life) and 3 of the Convention combined with Article 1 of Protocol No. 6 to the Convention (abolition the death penalty).

Attached documents

Case of Al-Nashiri
(PDF - 1.4 Mb)
Case of Husan Abu Zubaydah
(PDF - 1.3 Mb)
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