Poland: Cover-up over CIA torture centres
30 May 2011
“The CIA ran a secret prison in Poland”, headlines Gazeta Wyborcza, referring to a top-secret facility in Szymany, northern Poland, where, according to the US press, human rights watchdogs and the Council of Europe, the Americans interrogated and tortured high-ranking Al-Qaeda members at the turn of 2002/2003. A top secret official probe into the case was launched in 2008, which, according to Wyborcza, now seeks to indict members of the Democratic Left Alliance cabinet (in power 2001-2005) on charges of constitutional violations, lawless detention and complicity in crimes against humanity. However, two weeks ago the prosecutor in charge, Jerzy Mierzejewski, was taken off the case and his immediate superior, Robert Majewski, dismissed. Their findings, Wyborcza notes, indirectly confirm that “secret and extra-territorial CIA bases” did actually exist in Poland, which was not only “against Polish law, but also humiliating for Poland itself”. This puts Warsaw, eager today to export the experience of its democratic transformation to North Africa, in a very awkward position. “If we want to teach others how to wash hands, we first need to scrub our own nails”, concludes the Warsaw daily’s editorial.