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ECtHR rejected Poland’s appeal in CIA prisoners’ case

ECtHR informed that it rejected the appeal against the judgment of July 2014. The ruling, issued in the case brought by the CIA prisoners, al-Nashiri and Abu Zubaydah, against Poland pointed to a number of Convention rights violations, including that of the prohibition of torture, the right to a fair trial or the right to personal freedom and safety. With the appeal dismissed, the ECtHR judgment became final and binding.

“Now, the judgment must be enforced by the Polish Government”, says Dr Adam Bodnar, HFHR Deputy President. “This includes not only paying the applicants financial compensation but also bringing the inquiry into alleged CIA prisons in Poland to an end”, Dr Bodnar adds.

The Polish prosecution service has been investigating the matter for over seven years now. “The ECtHR judgment has considerable importance for the investigation. As a state body, the prosecution service is bound by the international law and will be primarily responsible for enforcing this judgment”, said Irmina Pacho, an HFHR lawyer.

In the judgment issued in July, the ECtHR found that the pending inquiry was excessively lengthy and ineffective. The Court also ruled that Poland had enabled the detention and torture of the two applicants.

Moreover, the ECtHR held that Poland had allowed the CIA to transfer the applicants abroad despite them being exposed to a risk of further ill-treatment and illegal detention.

In the judgment, the Strasbourg Court highlighted the fact that Poland should have sought diplomatic guarantees from the US that the applicants would not be sentenced to death.

“Although Poland remains responsible for enforcing the judgment, the ruling’s statement of reasons is in fact an accusation against the US and serves as condemnation of torture”, Mr Bodnar says.

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