Sunday, October 10, 2010

Another Torture Victim Sues

Torture victim sues Obama administration over `Kafkaesque nightmare'

A detainee is shown resting inside his cell in Camp Delta at Guantanamo in June 2004.

10.09.10 - In a first for a former Guantánamo captive freed by a federal judge, a Syrian man now living in Europe is suing the U.S. government for damages from what he calls a ``Kafkaesque nightmare.''

The 44-page lawsuit by Abdul Razak al Janko, 32, described a decade-long odyssey of detention -- first in Taliban-era Afghanistan, where he was tortured as an alleged pro-American Israeli spy, and later in U.S. military prisons that ignored or misdiagnosed his history as a torture victim.

In addition, Janko alleges that U.S. soldiers urinated on him on his May 2002 arrival at Guantánamo, where he was subsequently subjected to solitary confinement and sleep deprivation. and beaten by a rapid-reaction force. He said he attempted to commit suicide 17 times in despair.


Federal courts rebuffed an earlier bid by former Guantánamo captives to sue the Bush administration for compensation, a case called Rasul v. Rumsfeld. That case was brought by four men who were released years ago through a diplomatic deal between the United States and Britain's Tony Blair government.

Janko, however, is armed with a June 22, 2009 victory in his habeas corpus petition. It is one of so far just 38 wins since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June 2008 that the Constitution covers a Guantánamo captive's right to file false imprisonment petitions in federal courts.

Judge Richard J. Leon, a President George W. Bush appointee, wrote in his 13-page decision that the Syrian's detention as a war prisoner ``defies common sense'' in part because he had been held and tortured by the Taliban or al Qaeda in the 18 months prior to his capture by U.S. troops in Afghanistan. {read rest}

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