Poland Will Pay Reparations to Guantanamo Prisoners

Polish foreign minister, Grzegorz Schetyna, said this week that his country will pay $262,000 to two Guantanamo Bay inmates following a ruling by the court of European human rights.

Poland Will Pay Reparations to Guantanamo Prisoners

Polish foreign minister, Grzegorz Schetyna, said this week that his country will pay $262,000 to two Guantanamo Bay inmates following a ruling by the court of European human rights.

The court determined that two prisoners — Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri — were subjected to "what amounts to torture" inside of Poland by the CIA. "We have to [pay the reparations]," Schetyna said in an interview on Trójka Polish Radio, "because we are a country that abides laws."

"The court found that Poland 'enabled the US authorities to subject [the detainees] to torture and ill‑treatment on its territory' and was complicit in that 'inhuman and degrading treatment.'"

Court documents reveal that Nashiri, charged with planning the bombing of the USS Cole off Yemen in 2000, suffered harsh treatment at the hands of his CIA interrogators who "variously stripped him, revved a power drill near his temple and threatened to sexually assault his mother."

Zubaydah was the first victim of the CIA detention program for whom many of the techniques, including waterboarding, were developed, and he is the only prisoner known to have been subject to them all. Both men are currently being held at Guantanamo Bay.

In October 2005, US Armed Forces consultant and Georgetown professor of philosopher Nancy Sherman visited Guantanamo Bay Detention Center as part of an independent observer team. What she found was an acute case of ethical failure:

"[T]here was an attempt to ... ask us to try to find a legal loophole for separating the kinds of professionals, the psychologists who were involved in the interrogation from the kind of psychiatrists clinicians involved in treatment. And if the one is involved in an interrogation never do the treatment, then maybe they could be a little bit more aggressive or don’t have to worry about the same restrictions as the ones on the treating side."

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