Poland to make payments to alleged CIA rendition victims

Poland to make payments to alleged CIA rendition victims

[JURIST] The Polish government on Friday processed payments to two terror suspects currently held by the US at Guantanamo Bay. The European Court of Human Rights [official website] had imposed a Saturday deadline [AP report] on Poland to make the reparations. Last July Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri were awarded USD $147,000 and $113,000, respectively, in a lawsuit against Poland for allowing the CIA to detain them and for not preventing torture and inhumane treatment. The court also ordered Poland to urge the US not to execute the suspects. Many people in Poland are upset with the penalty, feeling they must pay for US actions, and many Americans are upset at the idea that possible terror suspects could receive this money. The detainees’ lawyer, however, claims there rights were violated, they were subjected to torture, and they have never been found guilty of a crime in court.

The US military prison at Guantanamo [JURIST backgrounder] has continued to generate controversy. Earlier this month a judge for the Alberta Court of Appeal [official website] ruled that former Guantanamo detainee Omar Khadr can be released [JURIST report] on bail while he appeals his US war crimes conviction. In February the US Department of Defense overturned [JURIST report] a rule that would have attempted to speed up the litigation process in military commission prosecutions by requiring judges to relocate to Guantanamo. In January a group of US senators proposed legislation [JURIST report] that would place a moratorium on the releases or transfer of prisoners from Guantanamo. Also in January a lawyer for former Guantanamo detainee David Hicks said the US government admitted [JURIST report] the conviction was incorrect and did not dispute Hicks’ innocence.