Kwasniewski: Poland cooperated with US on CIA sites
PR dla Zagranicy
Former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski has said that Poland was asked to provide a “quiet location” for interrogating suspects following the September 11 attacks.
Former President Aleksander Kwasniewski (left) and leader of the Democratic Left Alliance, Leszek Miller address the US Senate's CIA report at a conference in the Sejm lower parliamentary house, 10.12.2014 Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka
This is a U-turn for Kwasniewski - who was in office between 1995 and 2005 - after almost a decade of denying having any knowledge of such sites in the country.
Speaking at a press conference in the Polish Sejm lower parliamentary house, Kwasniewski underlined that no authorisation was given for the harsh treatment of detainees.
“The Americans asked [Poland] in 2001 for a quiet location to question people who wanted to cooperate,” Kwasniewski said.
The Polish authorities agreed in that year “to find methods of deeper cooperation in line with Polish law” between the Polish and US secret services, Kwasniewski added.
However, according to the former president, the Americans did not sign a memorandum on the means by which they would operate on Polish territory.
“The war on terror was a new event, and we weren’t prepared for it,” Kwasniewski admitted during the conference.
The comments come a day after a report was released by the US Senate on CIA practices following 9/11. Although the highly-redacted report does not specifically mention Poland, several references to secret facilities in the country can be found.
The report also talks about the then-US Ambassador’s involvement in negotiations with the host country, and a payout of at least a million US dollars.
Crossing the Line
Tuesday’s Senate report details harsh interrogation techniques by the CIA which have brought much attention by global human rights groups.
“This report provides further incriminating details of human rights violations sanctioned by the highest authorities of the United States. Despite the the common knowledge of many of the details, still no one has been held accountable for authorising or carrying out these activities within the framework of the CIA,” Draginja Nadaždin, Director of Amnesty International Poland, wrote in a statement. (rg/jb)