Judgment (Merits and Just Satisfaction) of Court (Fourth Section), July 24, 2014 (case CASE OF AL NASHIRI v. POLAND)

Resolution Date:July 24, 2014
Issuing Organization:Court (Fourth Section)

Preliminary objection joined to merits and dismissed (Article 35-1 - Exhaustion of domestic remedies) ; Remainder inadmissible ; Violation of Article 38 - Examination of the case and friendly settlement proceedings ; Violation of Article 3 - Prohibition of torture (Article 3 - Effective investigation) (Procedural aspect) ; Violation of Article 3 - Prohibition of torture (Article 3 - Torture) (Subs... (see full summary)


    FORMER FOURTH SECTION     CASE OF AL NASHIRI v. POLAND (Application no. 28761/11)      JUDGMENT    STRASBOURG 24 July 2014     This judgment will become final in the circumstances set out in Article 44 § 2 of the Convention. It may be subject to editorial revision. PROCEDUREA.  Written and oral procedureB.  The Polish Government’s failure to produce information and documentary evidence in the present case and in Husayn (Abu Zubaydah)THE FACTSI.  EVIDENCE BEFORE THE COURTII.  BACKGROUND TO THE CASEA.  Terrorist attacks of which the applicant has been suspected

1. USS Cole bombing in 2000

2. MV Limburg bombingB.  The so-called “High-Value Detainees Programme”

1. The establishment of the HVD Programme

2. Enhanced Interrogation Techniques

3. Standard procedures and treatment of “High Value Detainees” in CIA custody (combined use of interrogation techniques)

4. Conditions of detention at CIA detention facilities

5. Closure of the HVD ProgrammeC.  Role of Jeppesen CompanyD.  Military Commissions

1. Military Order of 13 November 2001

2. Military Commission Order no. 1

3. The 2006 Military Commissions Act and the 2009 Military Commissions ActE.  Review of the CIA’s activities involved in the HVD Programme in 2001-2009 by the US SenateIII.  THE PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE CASEA.  The applicant’s capture, transfer to the CIA’s custody and initial detention (from the end of October to 4 December 2002)B.  Transfer to Poland and detention in the “black site” in Stare Kiejkuty (from 4/5 December 2002 to 6 June 2003)

1. Transfer (4-5 December 2002)

2. Detention and ill-treatment (5 December 2002- 6 June 2003)C.  Transfer from Poland on 6 June 2003D.  The applicant’s further transfers during CIA custody (from 6 June 2003 to 6 September 2006)E.  The applicant’s detention in Guantánamo Bay and his trial before the Military Commission (from 6 September 2006 to present)

1. Hearing before the Combatant Status Review Tribunal

2. Trial before the military commissionF.  Parliamentary inquiry in Poland

1. Parliamentary inquiry in Poland

2. Views regarding the inquiry expressed by international organisations(a)  Council of Europe(b)  European ParliamentG.  Criminal investigation in Poland

1. Information supplied by the Polish Government in their written and oral submissions made in the present case and in the case of Husayn (Abu Zubaydah) v. Poland

2. Facts supplied by the applicant in the present case and supplemented by the facts related in the case of Abu Zubaydah v. Poland and certain materials available in the public domain

3. Views regarding the investigation expressed by international organisations(a)  United Nations(b)  Amnesty InternationalIV.  RELEVANT DOMESTIC LAWA.  Criminal Code

1. Territorial jurisdiction

2. Offence of abuse of power

3. Statute of limitation

4. Protection of secrecy of investigation (offence of disseminating information of criminal investigation)B.  Code of Criminal Procedure

1. Prosecution of offences

2. Classified materialsC.  Laws on classified information and related ordinance

1. The laws on classified information(a)  Situation until 2 January 2011 – “the 1999 Act”(b)  Situation as from 2 January 2011 – “the 2010 Act”

2. The 2012 OrdinanceD.  Law on intelligence agenciesV.  RELEVANT INTERNATIONAL LAWA.  Vienna Convention on the Law of TreatiesArticle 26 “Pacta sunt servanda”Article 27 Internal law and observance of treatiesB.  International Law Commission, 2001 Articles on Responsibility of States for Internationally Wrongful ActsArticle 7 Excess of authority or contravention of instructionsArticle 14 Extension in time of the breach of an international obligationArticle 15 Breach consisting of a composite actArticle 16 Aid or assistance in the commission of an internationally wrongful actC.  International Covenant on Civil and Political RightsD.  The United Nations Torture ConventionE.  UN General Assembly Resolution 60/147VI.  SELECTED PUBLIC SOURCES CONCERNING GENERAL KNOWLEDGE OF THE HVD PROGRAMME AND HIGHLIGHTING CONCERNS AS TO HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS ALLEGEDLY OCCURRING IN US-RUN DETENTION FACILITIES IN THE AFTERMATH OF 11 SEPTEMBER 2001A.  United Nations Organisation

1. Statement of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on detention of Taliban and Al-Qaeda prisoners at the US Base in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, 16 January 2002

2. Statement of the International Rehabilitation Council for Torture

3. UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, Opinion No. 29/2006, Mr Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi and 25 other persons v. United States of America, UN Doc. A/HRC/4/40/Add.1 at 103 (2006)B.  Other international organisations

1. Amnesty International, Memorandum to the US Government on the rights of people in US custody in Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay, April 2002

2. Human Rights Watch, “United States, Presumption of Guilt: Human Rights Abuses of Post-September 11 Detainees”, Vol. 14, No. 4 (G), August 2002

3. Human Rights Watch, “United States: Reports of Torture of Al‑Qaeda Suspects”, 26 December 2002

4. International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights, “Anti‑terrorism Measures, Security and Human Rights: Developments in Europe, Central Asia and North America in the Aftermath of September 11”, Report, April 2003

5. Amnesty International Report 2003 – United States of America, 28 May 2003

6. Amnesty International, “Unlawful detention of six men from Bosnia-Herzegovina in Guantánamo Bay”, 29 May 2003

7.  Amnesty International, “United States of America, The threat of a bad example: Undermining international standards as ‘war on terror’ detentions continue”, 18 August 2003

8. Amnesty International, “Incommunicado detention/Fear of ill‑treatment”, 20 August 2003

9. International Committee of the Red Cross, United States: ICRC President urges progress on detention-related issues, news release 04/03, 16 January 2004

10. Human Rights Watch - Statement on US Secret Detention Facilities of 6 November 2005

11. Human Rights Watch – List of Ghost Prisoners Possibly in CIA Custody of 30 November 2005C.  Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Resolution no. 1340 (2003) on rights of persons held in the custody of the United States in Afghanistan or Guantánamo Bay, 26 June 2003D.  Media reports and articles

1. International media

2. Polish media


1. Procedure under Article 52 of the Convention

2. Parliamentary Assembly’s inquiry – the Marty Inquiry(a)  The 2006 Marty Report(b)  The 2007 Marty Report(c)  The 2011 Marty ReportB.  European Parliament

1. The Fava Inquiry

2. The 2007 European Parliament Resolution

3. The 2011 European Parliament Resolution

4. The Flautre Report and the 2012 European Parliament Resolution

5. The 2013 European Parliament ResolutionC.  The 2007 ICRC ReportD.  United Nations Organisation

1. The 2010 UN Joint Study

2. The 2010 UN Human Rights Committee ObservationsE.  The CHRGJ ReportVIII.  OTHER DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE BEFORE THE COURTA.  Polish Border Guard’s letter of 23 July 2010B.  TDIP transcript of “Exchange of views with [M.P.], former director of Szczytno/Szymany airport in Poland”C.  Senator Pinior’s affidavit submitted to the Court in the case of Husayn (Abu Zubaydah)IX.  EXTRACTS FROM TESTIMONIES OF EXPERTS AND WITNESS HEARD BY THE COURTA.  Mr FavaB.  Presentation by Senator Marty and Mr J.G.S. “Distillation of available evidence, including flight data, in respect of Poland and the cases of Al Nashiri and Abu Zubaydah”C.  Senator MartyD.  Mr J.G.S.E.  Senator PiniorTHE LAWI.  THE GOVERNMENT’S PRELIMINARY OBJECTION ON NON-EXHAUSTION OF DOMESTIC REMEDIESA.  The parties’ arguments

1. The Government

2. The applicantB.  The Court’s assessmentII.  OBSERVANCE OF ARTICLE 38 OF THE CONVENTION BY POLANDA.  The parties’ submissions

1. The Government

2. The applicantB.  The Court’s assessment

1. Applicable principles deriving from the Court’s case-law(a)  General principles(b)  Cases where national security or confidentiality concerns are involved

2. Application of the above principles to the present caseIII.  THE COURT’S ESTABLISHMENT OF THE FACTS AND ASSESSMENT OF THE EVIDENCEA.  The parties’ positions on the facts and evidence

1. The Government

2. The applicantB.  Amnesty International (AI) and the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) submissions on public knowledge of the US practices in respect of captured terrorist suspectsC.  The Court’s conclusion on the lack of dispute as to the facts and evidenceD.  The Court’s assessment of the facts and evidence

1. Applicable principles deriving from the Court’s case-law

2. Preliminary considerations concerning the assessment of the facts and evidence in the present case

3. Assessment of the facts and evidence relevant for the applicant’s allegations concerning his transfer to Poland, secret detention in Poland and his transfer from Polish territory(a)  Whether the applicant’s allegations concerning the events preceding his alleged detention in Poland (capture and initial detention from the end of October to 4 December 2002 and transfer from Thailand on 4 December 2002) were proved before the Court(b)  Whether the applicant’s allegations concerning his transfer to Poland, secret detention at the “black site” in Stare Kiejkuty and transfer from Poland to other CIA secret detention facilities elsewhere (4/5 December 2002 – 6 June 2003) were proved before the Court

4. Assessment of the facts and evidence relevant for Poland’s alleged knowledge of and complicity in the CIA HVD Programme(a)  Special procedure for landings of CIA aircraft in Szymany airport followed by the Polish authorities(b)  Special status exemptions, navigation through Poland’s airspace without complete flight plans and validation of false flight plans for the CIA(c)  The alleged existence of a “special” bilateral agreement with the CIA and...

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