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Published online by Cambridge University Press: 20 January 2017
The European Court of Human Rights (European Court), increasingly known as “the conscience of Europe,” together with the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly, were the first intergovernmental organizations to reveal information about the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) “black sites.” These “black sites” were secret prisons established around the world, outside of U.S. territory, by the George W. Bush administration and run by the CIA to detain suspects termed “high value,” and their existence was repeatedly denied by the U.S. and Polish Governments. The Soros funded Open Society Justice Initiative, filed the application with the European Court on behalf of Abd al-Nashiri on May 6, 2011, arguing that Poland had been complicit in his rendition, detention, and torture at a CIA black-site prison within the state.
* This text was reproduced and reformatted from the text available at the European Court of Human Rights website (visited July 16, 2015), http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/sites/eng/pages/search.aspx?i=001-146044.
1 Pope Francis in his November 25, 2014 address to the Council of Europe notably referred to the role of the European Court of Human Rights as the conscience of Europe with regard to human rights. His Holiness Pope Francis, Address to the Council of Europe (Nov. 25, 2014), available at https://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/speeches/2014/november/documents/papa-francesco_20141125_strasburgo-consiglio-europa.html.
2 The Justice Initiative is the litigation arm of the Open Society Foundation, founded by the investor/philanthropist George Soros to build vibrant and tolerant democracies whose governments are accountable to their citizens.
3 S. Select Comm. on Intelligence, 114th Cong., Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program, Executive Summary (2014)Google Scholar available at http://www.intelligence.senate.gov/sites/default/files/press/executivesummary_0.pdf; A 525 page portion of the SSCI’s 6,000 page report on the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program and its use of various forms of torture (“enhanced interrogation techniques” in U.S. government communiqués) on detainees between 2001 and 2006 was released on December 9, 2014
4 The companion case, Husayn (Abu Zubaydah) v. Poland, Eur. Ct. H.R. (2014), http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng?i=001-146047, was presented by the London based nongovernmental organization, “Interights,” and was decided the same day as the A1 Nashiri case.
5 Rick, Lyman, Poland: Reparations to Be Paid To 2 Detainees Held at C.I.A. Site ,N.Y. Times, Feb. 19, 2015 Google Scholar, at A6.
6 Vanessa, Gera, Poland Makes Payout to Alleged Victims of CIA Renditions, Associated Press, May 15, 2015 Google Scholar, available at http://news.yahoo.com/poland-makes-payout-allegedvictims-cia-renditions-100705242.html; Poland to Make Payments to Alleged CIA Rendition Victims, JURIST, May 15, 2015, http://jurist.org/paperchase/2015/05/poland-tomake-payments-to-alleged-cia-rendition-victims.php.
7 Al-Nashiri v. Poland, Judgment, Eur. Ct. H.R., ¶ 3 (2014), http://hudoc.echr.coe.int/eng?i=001-146044.
8 Id. ¶ 416.
9 Id. ¶¶ 517–519. See also Soering v. UK, Eur. Ct. H.R., 28 I.L.M. 1063 (1989).
10 Al-Nashiri, supra note 7, ¶ 507.
11 In addition, the European Court found violations of other Convention rights of lesser relevance to this Note.
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