Khaled El-Masri v. United States
What's at Stake
In a history-making lawsuit, the ACLU challenged the CIA on behalf of Khaled El-Masri, an entirely innocent victim of rendition who was released without ever being charged.
The lawsuit charged that former CIA Director George Tenet violated U.S. and universal human rights laws when he authorized agents to abduct Mr. El-Masri, beat him, drug him, and transport him to a secret CIA prison in Afghanistan. The corporations that owned and operated the airplanes used to transport Mr. El-Masri are also named in the case. The CIA continued to hold Mr. El-Masri incommunicado in the notorious “Salt Pit” prison in Afghanistan long after his innocence was known. Five months after his abduction, Mr. El-Masri was deposited at night, without explanation, on a hill in Albania.
A judge dismissed the case in May 2006 after the government intervened, arguing that allowing the case to proceed would jeopardize state secrets, despite the fact that Mr. El-Masri’s story was already known throughout the world. The ACLU appealed the dismissal in November 2006. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld the lower court decision that denied Mr. El-Masri a hearing in the United States. In October 2007, the United States Supreme Court refused to review Mr. El-Masri’s case.
On April 9, 2008, the ACLU filed a petition with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) on behalf of El-Masri. The IACHR deemed Mr. El-Masri’s petition as admissible on April 15th, 2016 and in November of 2017, the ACLU filed a request for a hearing on the merits of the case during the 166th Extraordinary Period of Sessions.
On October 17th, 2018, the ACLU submitted its Final Observations on the Merits of Khaled El-Masri’s case to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
Final Observations on Khaled El-Masri's Petition
Date Filed: 11/06/2018
Request for a Hearing on the Merits, 166th Extraordinary Period of Sessions
Date Filed: 11/14/2017
Additional Information Regarding Khaled El-Masri's Petition to the IACHR
Date Filed: 07/27/2010
Letter from Katherine Porterfield Regarding Khaled El-Masri's Petition to the IACHR
Date Filed: 07/13/2010
Amicus Curiae Brief Presented to IACHR by REDRESS in the case of El-Masri v. United States
Date Filed: 03/30/2009
El-Masri - Petition to the IACHR
Date Filed: 04/09/2008
El Masri v. Tenet - Reply Brief for Plaintiff-Appellant
Date Filed: 09/25/2006
Amicus Brief of Former United States Diplomats in El-Masri v. Tenet
Date Filed: 07/31/2006
Date Filed: 12/06/2005
European Court Will Review Macedonia's Role In Extraordinary Rendition
Spain Calls For Arrest Of CIA Agents Involved In Extraordinary Rendition
International Tribunal Takes Up Case Of Innocent Victim Of CIA Extraordinary Rendition Program
Innocent Victim Of CIA Extraordinary Rendition Program Takes Case To International Tribunal
Federal Appeals Court Denies Day in Court for Victim of CIA Kidnapping, Citing “State Secrets”
Victim of CIA Kidnapping and Abuse Seeks Acknowledgement, Explanation and Apology: Remarks of Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director, ACLU