Torture Victim May Get His Day in (Inter-American) Court
It’s not just Mohammed Jawad. In 2007, U.S. courts blocked Khalid el-Masri, a German citizen who was kidnapped and tortured by the CIA in Afghanistan in a disastrous case of mistaken identity, from suing the government. The American Civil Liberties Union has kept his case alive, and has found a new venue for it. From a newly released statement:
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has accepted a petition filed by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Khaled El-Masri, an innocent victim of the CIA’s extraordinary rendition program. The U.S. government has two months to respond to allegations of kidnapping and torture summarily rejected by U.S. courts in 2007.
“The United States has an opportunity to reverse one of the most shameful legacies of the Bush administration and finally give an innocent victim of the extraordinary rendition program his day in court,” said Steven Watt, senior staff attorney with the ACLU Human Rights Program. “The State Department should fully engage in this process and comprehensively address the gross violation of El-Masri’s human rights, including his forcible disappearance and torture. To date, the United States hasn’t so much as acknowledged its involvement in El-Masri’s extraordinary rendition.”