Abu Zubaydah is currently detained in Guantánamo Bay. He was falsely suspected of being a high-value member of al Qaeda and the organisation’s Chief of Operations, and has been held in secret prisons around the world since 2002. He has never been charged with a crime. During his confinement he was brutally tortured both physically and psychologically.
Abu Zubaydah was seized in Pakistan in March 2002. Initially regarded as the first “high value detainee”, he became the guinea pig for the “enhanced interrogation techniques” then being developed by the CIA. US government and other documents have shown that he was chained to a chair for weeks, forced into cramped boxes, smashed into the wall, kept awake for 11 consecutive days, and waterboarded 83 times in one month. Abu Zubaydah was a ghost prisoner – his itinerary of incommunicado detention between 2002 and 2006 included Thailand, Poland, Guantánamo Bay, Morocco and Lithuania.
In September 2006 he was transferred back to Guantánamo Bay. The US government has not charged Abu Zubaydah with any crime, and no longer asserts that he was a member of al Qaeda. Nonetheless he remains in indefinite detention. In August 2014, in response to a case filed by Reprieve and Abu Zubaydah’s legal team, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Poland had knowingly facilitated Abu Zubaydah’s secret detention and torture in 2002-3. A second case on his behalf, against Lithuania, is in progress. The intensity and frequency of Mr Zubaydah’s torture make it vital that the sites of his abuse are exposed, if only to prevent it from happening again.
The European Court of Human Rights has today ruled that the Polish government was not only aware of but actively assisted the CIA’s European “black site” programme, which saw detainees held and tortured in secret prisons across the Continent.
A court has heard “overwhelming and uncontested evidence” of the existence on European soil of a CIA “black site,” used to torture prisoners – with the knowledge of host-government Poland.
Abu Zubaydah, who has been held in the CIA’s secret prisons and Guantanamo Bay for over a decade without charge or trial, has filed a lawsuit against Poland over its role in his illegal detention and torture.
New torture flights between Lithuania and secret CIA prisons in Afghanistan & Morocco revealed as European Parliament debates rendition report
Reprieve releases new information showing how renditions contractor Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC) arranged covert flights connecting Lithuania to other countries in the CIA’s secret prison network, including Morocco and Afghanistan - ahead of the European Parliament's debate on renditions.
In the first of a series of releases, Reprieve today highlights the corporations behind the extraordinary rendition of "high value detainee" Abu Zubaydah from Thailand to a secret prison in Poland on 5 December 2002.