London – CAGE welcomes the ruling by the European Court ordering the governments of Lithuania and Romania to pay damages to Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Nashiri, for complicity in their torture at CIA black sites on their soil.

We note, however, that the US officials and members of the CIA who ordered and participated in the torture – which included isolation, beatings, sleep deprivation, waterboarding, smashing heads against walls (also known as “walling”), prolonged hanging, starvation and confinement in coffin-like boxes – have yet again escaped accountability.

Furthermore, both men are kept under torturous conditions at Guantanamo Bay prison, as is evidenced by CIA documentation and recently released sketches by Abu Zubaydah attesting to his treatment. Not one individual has been held accountable for this either.

We continue to call for full accountability for torture at all levels.

Moazzam Begg, outreach director for CAGE, said:

“When the US Senate published its report on CIA torture in 2014 it was hailed as an exercise in transparency. Two of the men mentioned in it were Abu Zubaydah and al-Nashiri. Despite the detailed report of torture and cruelty no one was ever prosecuted.”

“In 2014, Polish judges awarded both men $250,000 for allowing the CIA to torture them on Polish soil. The European Court of Human Rights (EHCR) condemned Polish authorities for allowing torturers on its soil. With Lithuania and Romania the process has been repeated. Compensation, condemnation – but no prosecutions.”

“The US has repeatedly denied ECHR access to the prisoners in Guantanamo to avoid more scrutiny. But, America did not carry out its torture programme alone. Abu Zubaydah’s torturous journey saw him renditioned from Pakistan to Afghanistan, Thailand, Morocco, Poland, Romania, Lithuania and Guantanamo – were he remains based on evidence extracted from torture. Whilst these rulings are an important step on the road to justice, the bitter truth is that many nations were complicit in torture, but no one will be held to account.”

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CC image courtesy of Flickr – V Pickering

(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)