Contact: Matt Dorf, [email protected]
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - A Yemeni man held by the U.S. military has become the third person to seek victim status in an ongoing investigation by the Polish Prosecutor’s Office into Poland's involvement in the U.S.-led rendition and secret detention programs.
This morning Mariusz Paplaczyk, the Polish lawyer of Yemeni national Walid bin Attash, announced that yesterday he submitted an application requesting the Prosecutor's Office to grant his client with "injured person" (victim) status. After his arrest in Pakistan in 2003, Bin Attash passed through a number of CIA "black sites," including one in Poland, before being taken to Guantanamo, where he currently awaits trial by military commission.
The announcement came during a news conference in Warsaw to launch Amnesty International's new report, Unlock the Truth: Poland’s Involvement in CIA Secret Detention.
"This new development should provide the Polish authorities with a much-needed push to move forward and complete it’s lagging investigation which began five years ago into the country's role in CIA secret detentions," said Julia Hall, Amnesty International’s expert on counter-terrorism and human rights.
"If Walid bin Attash is granted 'injured person' status in the investigation, he will be the third alleged victim of human rights violations at the hands of the CIA on Polish soil - along with Adb al-Rahim al-Nashiri and Abu Zubaydah, whom we also profile in our new report.
"The Polish authorities must stop using 'national security' as a veil for the truth – it's time to expose the extent of their collaboration in the CIA’s secret detention program once and for all."
The Polish investigation of the CIA 'black site' has dragged on since 2008 and has been conducted largely under cover of secrecy. The Polish prosecutors have thus far declined to disclose almost any information related to the investigation or make its findings public.
Amnesty International is a Nobel Peace Prize-winning grassroots activist organization with more than 3 million supporters, activists and volunteers in more than 150 countries campaigning for human rights worldwide. The organization investigates and exposes abuses, educates and mobilizes the public, and works to protect people wherever justice, freedom, truth and dignity are denied.