US Judge Dismisses Lawsuit for Tortured Gitmo Detainee

The Syrian national sought damages for his torture while in US custody, but the Obama administration asked that the case be tossed

A U.S. judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit by a former Guantanamo detainee seeking damages for torture and abuse he suffered while in U.S. custody.

Abdul Rahim Abdul Razak al Janko, a Syrian national, was captured in 2002 and was released in 2009 after finally being granted the right to challenge his detention. The U.S. government’s contention in that case was that Janko had been a member of al Qaeda in Afghanistan.

Judge Richard Leon threw out his most recent lawsuit seeking recompense, on the grounds that the U.S. Military Commissions Act passed by Congress stripped the federal courts of jurisdiction over any allegations by foreigners of detention, treatment, or conditions of confinement.

Janko claims he was exposed to various forms of physical and psychological torture, including being urinated on, being deprived of sleep for long periods, harsh interrogations and severe beatings. H tried to commit suicide 17 times and ended up suing several members of the Bush and Obama administrations last year for overseeing his detention and treatment.

Incidentally, Judge Leon is the one that granted Janko his release in 2009, but he faced considerable pressure throughout this most recent case. The Obama administration urged the lawsuit be dismissed on various procedural grounds, including that the court lacked jurisdiction and that the U.S. government is immune from such claims.

Last 5 posts by John Glaser

Author: John Glaser

John Glaser writes for Antiwar.com.