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Archive for December 6th, 2013|Daily archive page

Gitmo Detainees’ ECHR Testimony on CIA Torture in Poland: Waterboarding, Stress Positions, Mock Executions, Threats of Raping Mother!?

In Archive, Guantanamo, Poland on December 6, 2013 at 3:41 AM

ZD30 Torture

12/03/2013

Owen Bowcott/Ian Cobain/Guardian:

Lawyers for two men subject to extraordinary rendition by the CIA told the European court of human rights (ECHR) on Tuesday that Poland, which permitted a secret “black” site to operate on its territory, should be held responsible for their torture.

The two-day hearing at Strasbourg was the first time a European country has been taken to court for allowing US agencies to carry out “enhanced” interrogation and “waterboarding” programmes. In a highly unusual legal move, the media and public were barred from the opening day’s session.

The military base at Stare Kiejkuty, north of Warsaw, it was revealed, had previously been used by German intelligence and later the Soviet army during the second world war. One of the men, it was alleged, was subjected to mock executions while hooded and otherwise naked.

Abd al-Rahim Hussayn Muhammad al-Nashiri, a Saudi Arabian national of Yemeni descent, and Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn, also known as Abu Zubaydah, a stateless Palestinian, maintain they were waterboarded and abused during interrogation in Poland. Both men arebeing held by the US in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

They claim that after being captured by the CIA they were transferred on the same “rendition” plane in December 2002 to a secret detention site in Poland, with the knowledge of the Polish authorities, for the purpose of interrogation and were tortured.

Nashiri maintains he was seized in Dubai in October that year and subsequently moved around secret CIA detention facilities in Afghanistan and Thailand before being taken to Poland. He remained in a secret detention centre until early June 2003, when he was secretly transferred, with the assistance of the Polish authorities, to Morocco and then, in September 2003, to Guantánamo Bay.

He claims he was subjected to the so-called “waterboard technique”, where a detainee is tied to a bench with his feet elevated above his head, a cloth placed over his mouth and nose and water poured on to the cloth producing the sensation of drowning and suffocation.

Nashiri alleges he was also forced into prolonged stress positions – kneeling on the floor and leaning back – and was threatened that his family would be abused if he did not provide information.

Amrit Singh, of the Open Society Justice Initiative who represented Nashiri, said that her client had been repeatedly tortured. “The court heard expert testimony [on Monday] confirming how Polish officials filed false flight plans and assisted in the cover-up of CIA operations,” Singh said. “In a secluded villa, hidden from sight, CIA interrogators subjected him to torture: to mock executions while he stood naked and hooded before them; to painful stress positions that nearly dislocated his arms from his shoulders; and to threats of bringing in his mother to sexually abuse her in front of him.” He now faces the death penalty before a US military commission, she added.

Husayn alleges that, having been captured in Pakistan in March 2002 and subsequently transferred to a secret CIA detention facility in Thailand, he was brought to Poland in early December 2002 where he was held in a secret CIA detention facility until September 2003.

According to his submissions, Husayn was waterboarded, placed in a box and exposed to extreme noise.

Communication with his lawyers is restricted, making it impossible to pass on information or evidence directly from him to the ECHR. The presentation of his case is principally based on publicly available sources.

Romania and Lithuania also have cases pending at the ECHR for hosting secret CIA prisons.

Related Links:

ECHR Rules CIA “Tortured and Sodomised” Wrongly Detained German Citizen

Report: Globalizing Torture: CIA Secret Detention and Extraordinary Rendition

Australia Tries to Stop Ex-Spy Whistleblower’s Int’l Court Testimony Re: Economic Espionage on East Timor

In Archive, ASIO, ASIS, Australia, East Timor, Economy, Politics, Surveillance on December 6, 2013 at 1:31 AM

12/05/2013

IntelNews:

The government of Australia has confiscated the passport of a former intelligence officer who was preparing to testify at an international court that Canberra engaged in illegal economic espionage.

The International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, is preparing to hear a case brought against Australia by the government of East Timor. The small island nation accuses Australia of bugging the offices of key Timorese officials in an attempt to acquire inside information on a crucial energy deal.

East Timor claims that a group of Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) officers disguised themselves as a refurbishing crew and planted numerous electronic surveillance devices in an East Timorese government office. The information collected from the listening devices allegedly allowed Australia to gain an upper hand during negotiations that led to the Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea (CMATS) treaty.

The treaty, signed in 2004, allows the two countries to share the revenue derived from the exploitation of the Greater Sunrise oil and gas field, sections of which are claimed by both Australia and East Timor. But the Timorese side now claims that Canberra gained an unfair advantage in the CMATS negotiations through its bugging operation, and is asking for the treaty to be terminated.

Sometime last week, Australian authorities found out that the East Timorese side had secured the cooperation of an ASIS whistleblower, who was prepared to testify at The Hague about the details of the bugging operation. The unnamed whistleblower, who is believed to be a former director of technical operations at ASIS, was prepared to tell the court that the operation was both “immoral and wrong”, because it was designed to benefit the interests of large energy conglomerates and had nothing to do with Australian national security.

On Tuesday, officers from the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), which is the country’s domestic intelligence agency, raided the offices of Bernard Collaery, who is acting as East Timor’s lawyer in the case. The raiders took away legal documents that disclose the identity of the ASIS whistleblower. Shortly afterwards the former ASIS official was questioned by Australian authorities, who then proceeded to confiscate his passport, so as to prevent him from traveling to the Netherlands.

Speaking after the raid, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the operation was aimed at upholding Australia’s national interest. “We don’t interfere in [court] cases”, he told reporters, “but we always act to ensure that our national security is being properly upheld, so that’s what we’re doing”.

Late on Wednesday, East Timorese Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao responded in a statement, saying that “raiding the premises of a legal representative of Timor-Leste and taking such aggressive action against a key witness is unconscionable and unacceptable conduct”.

Mr. Collaery, the lawyer in the case, condemned the raid as an intimidatory tactic on behalf of the Australian government.

Geoengineering: Governance and Technology Policy (CRS Report/Nov. 2013)

In Archive, Chemtrails, Science, Space, Technology on December 6, 2013 at 12:38 AM

via Steven Aftergood/SecrecyNews

11/26/2013

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