Guantánamo

High court won’t hear ex-Guantánamo detainee’s damage claim

This June 27, 2006 file photo, reviewed by a U.S. Department of Defense official, shows guards at Camp Delta.
This June 27, 2006 file photo, reviewed by a U.S. Department of Defense official, shows guards at Camp Delta. ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Supreme Court won’t hear an appeal from a former Guantánamo Bay prisoner who sued the government for injuries he suffered during his seven-year detention.

The justices on Monday let stand a lower court ruling that threw out Abdul Rahim Abdul Razak al Janko’s claim for damages.

A federal judge ruled that Janko was an enemy combatant under federal law and therefore could not sue the federal government. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit affirmed.

Janko, whose interrogations figured in many leaked Guantánamo detainee files, alleged that U.S. officials subjected him to torture and other physical and psychological mistreatment during his detention. He was released in 2009 after a federal court agreed that he was wrongly detained.

Separately, the Supreme Court Monday allowed the Obama administration to keep secret photographs and videotapes of a Guantánamo Bay detainee identified as the would-be 20th hijacker in the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

The justices turned away the appeal from the Center for Constitutional Rights, which argued the release of videotapes and photographs of the interrogation and confinement of Mohammed al Qahtani would serve the public interest.

The human rights group accused the FBI and military personnel of subjecting Qahtani to isolation and aggressive interrogation techniques in 2002.

The federal appeals court in New York agreed with the government that images of al-Qahtani could be used by anti-American extremists as propaganda to recruit members if made public.

Complete Guantánamo coverage from the Miami Herald here.

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