Human Rights Court: CIA Tortured, Sodomized German Citizen

Macedonia Ruled Culpable in Torture of Innocent Detainee

The European Court of Human Rights has issued an historic judgement on the case of Khaled el-Masri, the German citizen unfortunate enough to have a similar name to a militant named Khalid al-Masri.

The court confirmed CIA agents tortured and sodomized el-Masri in front of Macedonian state police, and found the Macedonian government complicit in his secret torture by CIA officials.

In a case of mistaken identity, Masri was kidnapped in 2004 by the CIA and sent to multiple black sites in Baghdad and Afghanistan for abuse. The CIA figured out they had the wrong man after months of torture, and dumped him on a desolate road in Albania.

Masri attempted to sue the CIA over the abuse, but the US courts threw out the case on national security grounds, saying information about the case could never be made public. The German government briefly issued Interpol warrants for the agents involved in Masri’s kidnapping, but dropped this after the State Department threatened “repercussions” from pursuing the case.

The ruling will get Masri roughly $70,000 in compensation from the Macedonian government, and adds renewed interest to his case, with UN human rights officials urging the US government to apologize for its central role in the incident.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.