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RMJC Attorney Seeks Justice in Poland for Victim of American Torture

Roderick MacArthur Justice Center attorney Joseph Margulies, in concert with other lawyers, has asked the Polish government to investigate charges that Americans tortured Abu Zubaydah while he was detained in a secret prison in Poland.

The suit contends that the Polish government illegally colluded in the torture by hosting the prison.

Margulies said Zubaydah "has been described as the guinea pig for the enhanced interrogation program" that led to widespread condemnation of American anti-terrorism methods.

U.S. officials arrested Zubaydah in March 2002. At the time, they described him as the third-ranking member of Al Qaeda. They subjected him to all the "enhanced" techniques devised by the Bush Administration, including waterboarding. According to a 2005 Central Intelligence Agency memo, Zubaydah was waterboarded 83 times in August 2002 alone. Eventually, the United States acknowledged they had significantly misjudged Zubaydah. The United States Government no longer alleges Zubaydah was a member of al Qaeda, an associate of Usama bin Laden, a supporter of his radical ideology, or that he had anything to do with the attacks of September 11.

Zubaydah has not been charged with a crime. He remains in United States custody at Guantanamo. His ordeal was recounted in a 2009 commentary Margulies published in the Los Angeles Times.

Updated - 01/07/2011