May 02, 2021 07:11 UTC
  • Guantánamo inmate challenges CIA ‘black sites’ in UN human rights case

A Palestinian man, held captive without trial in the notorious Guantanamo Bay military prison for 19 years, is taking legal action against the US, Britain and five other allied countries before a UN human rights panel for their role in the CIA rendition and detention of terrorism suspects at “black sites” across the globe.

The rare case of flagrant abuse of captives by American military and spy agencies as well as authorities of countries hosting the US-run “black sites” is being brought to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions (UNWGAD) by Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn, known as Abu Zubaydah, the UK-based Guardian daily reported Friday.

The 50-year-old Abu Zubaydah, who was raised in Saudi Arabia, was detained in 2002 and turned over to CIA operatives overseas. He was initially accused of being an al-Qaeda leader, but the US spy agency concluded by 2006 that he had not even been a member of the terrorist group.

Despite being proven innocent, the US military continued holding him captive at the Guantanamo prison and torture site ever since, without any prospect of being released.

According to the report, UNWGAD -- part of the UN office of the high commissioner for human rights -- has a mandate to investigate individual complaints of arbitrary detention and issue opinions and rulings for compensation, though it does not possess the authority to impose sanctions on countries that do not comply.

Abu Zubaydah’s legal case, referred to the UN panel on Friday, states that he was kept in arbitrary detention and tortured in secret CIA interrogation facilities (black sites) in Thailand, Poland, Morocco, Lithuania, Afghanistan as well as the US military prison at Guantánamo.