El-Masri asks OAS rights court to condemn CIA rendition

[JURIST] Khaled El-Masri [JURIST news archive], the German citizen allegedly kidnapped by the CIA in 2003, petitioned [PDF complaint; press release] the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) [official website] Wednesday alleging he was tortured by the CIA. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) petitioned the IACHR, an autonomous arm of the Organization of American States (OAS) [official website], on behalf of El-Masri, arguing that the US should apologize to El-Masri and that the CIA's extraordinary rendition [JURIST news archive] program should be deemed illegal. Specifically, the ACLU asked the IACHR to declare the CIA's rendition program a violation of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man [text], a source of binding international obligations on member states of the OAS. AP has more.

El-Masri, a German national of Lebanese descent, claims that the CIA kidnapped him while he was traveling to Macedonia in 2003, and transported him to a secret detention facility in Kabul, Afghanistan, where he was held for four months. He was eventually released in Albania in 2004 without charge or funds to return to Germany.

Last fall, the US Supreme Court denied [PDF order; JURIST report] without comment El-Masri's petition for certiorari, ostensibly supporting the Bush administration's contention that allowing El-Masri's federal lawsuit [PDF complaint; ACLU materials] to proceed would require the revelation of state secrets. Earlier, the German Justice Ministry said that it would not press a formal request [JURIST report] to extradite the 13 CIA agents suspected of participating in El-Masri's alleged rendition after the Bush administration informed them it would not comply with a such a request. In June 2006, a German investigator concluded that no evidence had surfaced to disprove El-Masri's story [JURIST report], though German officials have denied [JURIST report] that Germany had any knowledge of the alleged kidnapping.



 

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