Thursday, December 15, 2005
Der Stern: CIA has had a secret prison in Poland for 5 years
I found this article on www.seznam.cz this morning. As I did not immediately find anything similar in English, I translated it myself. I am not a great translator, but I hope the story is clear and that you find it interesting.
The CIA has been holding and interrogating people held under suspicion of terrorism, for five or six years already, in a special area of the Polish secret service’s training centre at Szymany airport. The German weekly Der Stern, in its current issue, attributes this information to an unnamed high ranking member of the Polish intelligence service.
15.12. 2005 07:11
BERLIN - "Ordinary Polish agents do not have access to the zone, however Americans do,“ writes Der Stern. The camp area has a length of 3 and a width of 1.5 kilometres; the internal zone measures roughly 100 by 60 metres, and is enclosed by a barbed wire fence and a 3 metre high wall.
American planes have landed here
In the area they park cars with darkened windows and unreadable number plates – the same ones that were seen at the old Szymany military airport waiting for CIA planes. The centre lies about 10 kilometres from Szymany, near the village of Stare Kiejkuty.
In the years 2002-03, allegedly on five occasions, CIA planes landed here while transporting people suspected of terrorism. Only one was a Boeing 737, the others were small Gulfstream jets. According to the source from the Polish secret service, the Americans have been holding people here for the past five or six years, always for a period of several months.
The magazine’s eyewitness said that he saw one vehicle leave from the airport for the centre of Stare Kiejkuty accompanied by an ambulance. A day later a well-dressed man appeared at the airport and paid the landing fees – they were notably higher than was normal for a plane of that class. The airplane had not even refueled there.
Experts from the organisation Human Rights Watch came in consideration of the possibility of secret CIA prisons in Poland. The Polish Prime Minister on Monday announced that the investigation of the allegations should finish next week.
Amnesty International: The Union should not tolerate “disappearances” and torture
In an open letter addressed to the countries of the EU and in connection with Europe’s reaction to CIA flights and the alleged secret prisons, Amnesty International yesterday voiced criticism of the disrespect for certain basic human rights which has come with strategies being implemented in the fight against terrorism.
“The EU has a legal, political and moral responsibility to see that no member state is directly or indirectly involved in the disappearance of people or their torture,” stated Amnesty International. International law has already been infringed, according to the organisation, by any state that allows similar CIA flights to use their airports.
The letter challenges today’s EU summit in Brussels to unilaterally declare that they will not tolerate any law or practice that infringes the legal principles of the states and the protection of basic human freedoms.