A recent revelation by Polish officials has brought to light that the CIA operated a secret prison (black site) in a remote part of Poland where detainees were subjected to torture.
The former head of Poland’s intelligence service secret, Zbigniew Siemiatkowski, has been charged with taking part in establishing a secret prison for the CIA in a remote part of the country.
Torture is against the law in all European countries including Poland and if it can be proved that Poland did allow torture to take place the matter could be taken before the European Court of Human Rights where the prosecution of Polish and American agents is a distinct possibility.
“We can think about Polish intelligence officers who most probably somehow collaborated with the CIA in establishing this site. We can think about the CIA officers, because if they made it [tortures] in the territory of Poland – it is a crime,” according to human rights lawyer and head of the legal division at the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights Dr Adam Bodnar.
Lithuania was the first country in Europe to admit it had allowed the CIA to establish two secret detention facilities in there in 2002-2006. In November 2011, Lithuania faced a lawsuit for hosting a secret CIA prison on its soil when Abu Zubaydah, a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay, claimed he was detained and tortured there. Since then it has been revealed that several other countries allowed the CIA carte blanche to operate black sites on their soil in order to torture detainees. Some of the torture techniques involved waterboarding, starvation, cooling of the body, visual and acoustic deprivation for extended periods of time, slamming prisoners against walls, and mock execution, among many other methods.
Following the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. began to limit and remove mechanisms protecting human rights in the context of the "Global War on Terror". According to an Amnesty International study conducted in 2010 the U.S. has been cited for practices as an “unprecedented departure” from established international humanitarian and human rights law, specifically pointing to the Geneva Convention.
It has been alleged that the CIA used secret flight plans and chartered flights cris-crossing the Middle east, North Africa, Europe and Guantanamo in Cuba in order to cover up US Government involvement in the crimes.