Court Smacks Down Suit From Former Gitmo Prisoner
The Supreme Court blocked the appeal Monday of former Guantanamo Bay prisoner and Syrian citizen Abdul Rahim Abdul Razak al Janko, who originally sued the U.S. government for damages over alleged mistreatment.
Janko spent a seven-year period locked in Gitmo, where he claimed to have suffered torture, both physical and psychological, after being picked up in Afghanistan in 2001 and sent to Gitmo from 2002 to 2009, Reuters reports.
But ultimately, the Supreme Court’s decision is not at all surprising. It follows a clear directive set by Congress, namely that because Janko is considered an enemy combatant, he has no standing to sue the federal government, and so the ruling from the Supreme Court simply reaffirms what the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia already set out a year ago, Jan. 14, 2014.
Janko launched the suit in 2010, describing the details of the ‘Kafkaesque nightmare’ he says he suffered while as a detainee in Guantanamo in a 44-page suit, according to the Concord Monitor.
Documents from the Joint Task Force Guantanamo reveal that Janko received training from al-Qaida and maintained contact with senior leaders, though the report noted that Janko’s reliability is suspect, as he often changed the details of his story.
As the report noted in 2008, “there are so many variations and deviations in his reporting, as a result of detainee trying to please his interrogators, that it is difficult to determine what is factual, what may be a cover story, and what may be embellishment or fabrication.”
Janko was released in 2009 to Belgium, joining two other Guantanamo detainees previously sent to the European country, where he now lives under an assumed identity.
At the same time on Monday, the Supreme Court also decided not to continue with a case against the CIA filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights. According to the justices, images and video relating to the treatment of Mohammed al-Qahtani, who is often known as the “20th hijacker” because he wanted to participate in the Sept. 11 attacks, must remain exempt from the Freedom of Information Act.
The Center for Constitutional Rights argued that the images showed clear signs of al-Qahtani’s torture, but the justices pointed out that the images may harm U.S. national security.
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