STRASBOURG, December 3 (RAPSI, Alexander Karpov) - While delivering his statement in the European Court of Human Rights’ (ECHR) hearing on the alleged extraordinary rendition of Al Nashiri and Abu Zubaydah by the CIA in Poland, Ben Emmerson, UN Special Rapporteur on counter-terrorism and human rights, referred to the high-value detainee (HVD) program and the practice of extraordinary rendition a “global criminal conspiracy,” RAPSI reports live from the courtroom.

While abstaining from commenting on the facts of the case, Emmerson explained that along with the numerous human rights violations alleged in the hearing, a universal right to truth was extensively violated. 

Emmerson further remarked that the only standing conviction in this, “Bush-era conspiracy” was brought on by the Italian authorities, which in November 2009 convicted 29 Milan-based CIA agents in absentia, including the CIA Milan station chief, for participating in the extraordinary rendition. 

Emmerson in his statement appealed to the laissez-faire principle, and said that the relatives of the detainees, the public, and the media hold the universal right to truth. In conclusion he referred to the (HVD) program as a deliberate and organized human rights violation on a global scale.

The application was filed by two Guantanamo detainees Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri and Abu Zubaydah, and  assert a series of violations of the European Charter of Human Rights (Charter) at the hands of Poland., which allegedly hosted an off the books facility for processing CIA-marked detainees.

The case presented reads that Poland took part in a special anti-terrorism effort led by the U.S., which involved subjecting prisoners to torture. 

Application filed by Gitmo prisoner Abu Zubaydah says that the CIA was granted with more power after the 9/11 terror attacks. Zubaydah, reffered to as the “third most important man in Al-Quaeda hierarchy”, allegedly spent 9 months in Poland, where he was subjected to torture numerous times. Among other things, the “waterboarding” technique was used against him and he was placed in a box and exposed to extreme noise.

Later, Zubaydah was placed in GTMO’s maximum security block. He was not given the opportunity to meet with the lawyers representing him at the ECHR hearing, and was not formally charged during his incarceration.

The highly controversial anti-terrorist program was officially halted in 2006, but the materials and documents that can shed light on its nature remain classified to this day. Then-president George W. Bush admitted same year that at least 14 key terrorist suspects have been processed at the CIA-run black site facilities, before being sent for Guantanamo Bay.

Bush called the prisons a “vital tool in the war on terror” and said that the intelligence gathered “helped to save lives”. He added that the detainees were treated humanely by the CIA, and that the suspects were not subjected to torture or any cruel treatment, and referred to the program’s nature as “an alternative set of procedures.”

 The investigation launched by the Polish authorities into the accusations of torture and black ops detention facilities is set to expire in February 2014.