photo of Stare Kiejkuty by scx.hu/whirlybird
Kidnapping (a.k.a. rendition), secret prisons, and torture. The Polish people suffered through this illegal and inhumane treatment under the former Soviet Union. Polish war heroes who bravely fought the Germans in World War Two, were rounded up and tried as terrorists. Those who survived the initial purges went into hiding. They called themselves the “cursed soldiers.” In plain clothes, they went about diligently sabotaging the Soviet/Communist occupiers. The last surviving member was executed in 1963.
The Poles are understandably shaken to discover that their hero country, the United States, operated similar prisons in Poland in 2002 and 2003. They are conducting a full investigation, and will prosecute any Polish official who cooperated with the CIA. This includes the former head of the Polish Intelligence Agency (ABW) – whose signature graces some damming evidence – all the way up to the former President of Poland, who denies any knowledge of the matter.
Thomas Hammarberg, Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights, told THE NEWS, POLAND, “We know who was held there and what interrogation methods were used. They can be described as torture.”
Two men, captured in Pakistan and the UAE, respectively, and brought to the black site by the US in 2002, have been granted victim status in Poland. They have since been transferred to Guantanamo Bay and have been held for ten years without being charged with a crime.
Mikolaj Pietrzak, who represents one of the men, told the LA Times, “It’s the kind of thing we expect from Soviet Russia. We remember the Soviet occupation; we remember the German occupation. The fact that this beacon of liberty which is America would allow this — it’s a great disappointment in the United States as the land of the free.”