Friday, June 13, 2014

Torture? Religious Humiliation? Just Standard Operating Procedure . . .

Yuksel Celikgogus
The plaintiffs in Celikgogus include Yuksel Celikgogus and
Ibrahim Sen, two Turkish citizens who were released from
Guantánamo in 2004; Turkish citizen Nuri Mert; Uzbekistan
citizen Zakirjan Hasam; and Algerian citizen Abu Muhammad.
Judge: their treatment “appear[ed] to be standard for all” U.S. military detainees in Guantanamo, Iraq, and Afghanistan....”



From a June 10, 2014, press release by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR):

Court Finds Torture and Abuse of Former Guantánamo Detainees “Standard”, “Foreseeable”

June 10, 2014, Washington, DC – A federal appeals court today dismissed a civil lawsuit brought by six men formerly held at Guantánamo who were wrongly detained and abused while at the prison…

In dismissing their claims, the D.C. Circuit stated that the torture and religious humiliation these men endured—even after being cleared for release by the military—were incidental to the “need to maintain an orderly detention environment,” [and] “appear[ed] to be standard for all” U.S. military detainees in Guantanamo, Iraq, and Afghanistan....”

“It is deeply disturbing and disappointing that the court has refused to hold those in the military command responsible for the abuse and prolonged detention of individuals who were determined not to be enemy combatants. Torture and religious humiliation are unacceptable wherever they occur. When it is directed at individuals known not to be our enemies, it defies comprehension. This decision regrettably leaves these plaintiffs with nothing for their abuse,” said [attorney] Russell P. Cohen of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, who argued the case…

Unlike prior cases, three of the plaintiffs in this case were abused even after they were found to not be enemy combatants…

“If the court is correct that torture and religious humiliation are par for the course for detainees in the custody of our armed forces, that is an indictment of the way the United States treats its military detainees,” said Shayana Kadidal, counsel for the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) in the case and Senior Managing Attorney of the Guantanamo project at CCR.

Read the full press release from CCR: Court Finds Torture and Abuse of Former Guantánamo Detainees “Standard”, “Foreseeable”