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Anorak | Four British Guantanamo Prisoners No Right To Sue US

Four British Guantanamo Prisoners No Right To Sue US

by | 11th, January 2008

BRITONS are Shafiq Rasul, Asif Iqbal, Rhuhel Ahmed and Jamal Al-Harith have been challenging torture, abuse:

Ruling in a case of four Britons who formerly were detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the D.C. Circuit Court decided Friday that the prisoners have no right to sue top Pentagon officials and military officers for allegedly torturing them and defiling their religious beliefs while they were held at the military prison. The Court applied several different legal theories in rejecting all of the claims of abuse and arbitrary imprisonment, but the end result was that there was nothing left of the detainees’ legal challenge…

The four Britons are Shafiq Rasul, Asif Iqbal, Rhuhel Ahmedand Jamal Al-Harith. They sued former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, top generals, and several Army colonels or lieutenant colonels. They contended that Secretary Rumsfeld had approved harsh interrogation techniques for Guantanamo prisoners, leading “systematic and repeated” torture at the military prison on the island of Cuba throughout their two years in captivity as lower-ranking military personnel carried out Rumsfeld’s authorization. They were released from Guantanamo in March 2004, and returned to Britain. They then sued in U.S. courts under the Alien Tort Statute, the Geneva Conventions on treatment of military prisoners, the U.S. Constitution, and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

U.S. District Judge Ricardo M. Urbina threw out all of the claims except that under the religious freedom law, concluding that those allegations could go forward because the Act did apply to the detainees at Guantanamo because of the scope of U.S. control of the military base and prison there, and because the detainees there were “persons” under the Act.

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Posted: 11th, January 2008 | In: Reviews Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink