The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that Poland broke the European human rights convention in helping the CIA to render two terror suspects.
The judges said Poland had co-operated with the illegal transfers in 2002-2003, allowing two suspects to be interrogated on its territory.
It is the first such case concerning a CIA “black site” prison in Poland.
Abu Zubaydah, a Palestinian, was arrested in Pakistan and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a Saudi, in Dubai.
The court held that “the treatment to which the applicants had been subjected by the CIA during their detention in Poland had amounted to torture”.
The two men are currently held at the US Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba.
They complained to the court that they had been tortured at a US-run facility in Poland called Stare Kiejkuty, where Nashiri was held for six months and Abu Zubaydah for nine.
The ECHR, in its press release on the case, said that “the Polish state, on account of its acquiescence and connivance in the HVD [extraordinary rendition] Program, had to be regarded as responsible for the violation of the applicants’ rights committed on its territory”.
It added that Poland had been aware that the men’s transfer to and from its territory had been carried out by the process of “extraordinary rendition”.
“Consequently, by enabling the CIA to transfer the applicants to its other secret detention facilities, the Polish authorities exposed them to a foreseeable serious risk of further ill-treatment and conditions of detention in breach of Article Three [prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment],” it said.
The court ordered the Polish government to pay each of the men 100,000 euros ($135,000) in damages. It also awarded Abu Zubaydah 30,000 euros to cover his costs.