WARSAW: The Polish city of Gdansk said it was offended by Hollywood blockbuster “Zero Dark Thirty” for labelling the home town of the communist bloc’s first independent labour union as the location of a secret CIA detention centre.
The controversial movie has already sparked controversy by suggesting that the torture of al Qaeda suspects played an important role in tracking down al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, who was killed by US special forces during a raid on a Pakistan compound in 2011.
Polish prosecutors are looking into the country’s role in helping US intelligence services transport suspected members of the al Qaeda group who carried out the September 11, 2001 suicide airliner attacks on New York and Washington to facilities outside the United States for interrogation.
The remote airfield in northern Poland where human rights groups accuse the CIA of flying al Qaeda suspects is located some 200 km (124 miles) from Gdansk, where electrician Lech Walesa co-founded the Solidarity trade union movement which toppled the communist government more than two decades ago.
The film offers a view from the sea of an industrial building, a red ship with a darkening sky in the background and the caption: “CIA BLACK SITE, Gdansk, Poland.”
“The name ‘Gdansk’ is synonymous with freedom and Solidarity,” Gdansk Mayor Pawel Adamowicz said.
“In the movie it has been turned to a gloomy place where secret services interrogate people accused of terrorism. We are simply offended,” he told Reuters.
Poland’s government has never publicly acknowledged the existence of CIA prison centres on its territory. The investigation into the country’s involvement in the CIA’s “rendition” programme is now in its fifth year and prosecutors asked earlier this week for another extension.