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Poland asks Europe rights court to hold hearing over secret CIA prison in private

Poland formally requested that the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) [official website] hold an upcoming December 3 hearing regarding Poland's complicity in US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) secret detention facilities in private. The ECHR is scheduled [Reuters report] for a public hearing [JURIST report] on whether Poland hosted a secret jail operated by the CIA in arguments in the cases of two individuals, Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri [BBC profiles], who say they were kept in a CIA-operated prison in Poland. Advocacy group Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights [advocacy website] argues that media reports and other documents have already identified several detainees linked to a detention facility in Poland, as as such, national security interests would not be injured by holding a public hearing.

Poland has been accused of hosting a CIA-operated secret prison, where terrorism suspects were held and tortured between 2002 and 2005. An investigation into the prison has been ongoing in Poland since 2008. The US has acknowledged its program of "extraordinary rendition," which includes detention facilities around the world, to detain and question suspected al Qaeda militants. Amnesty International's report, Unlock the truth: Poland's involvement in CIA secret detention [report, PDF], outlines the search for accountability in Poland. The Polish investigation of the CIA "black site" has been conducted largely under cover of secrecy since it opened in 2008, whereby prosecutors have declined to disclose information related to the investigation or make its findings public.

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