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Former Guantanamo detainee suing US government over torture allegations

A former Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF] Wednesday against the US military alleging that he was subjected to torture. Abdul Rahim Abdul Razak Al Ginco, a Syrian national who prefers the surname Janko, filed suit in the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website], the same court that ordered his release last year, claiming that US military officials repeatedly tortured him [WP report] during his nearly seven-and-a-half years at Guantanamo. The suit names 26 current or former members of the military who are allegedly responsible for the tortuous acts, such as urinating on Janko, slapping him, threatening him with loss of fingernails, sleep deprivation, extreme cold and stress positions. Janko was released [order, PDF; JURIST report] in June 2009 when Judge Richard Leon found that he could no longer be classified as an "enemy combatant" and that the government's argument against him defied common sense. Prior to being detained by the US military, Janko was imprisoned and tortured by al Qaeda [JURIST news archive] for 18 months over suspicions that he was an American spy.

Several other Guantanamo detainees have also filed lawsuits alleging torture. In July, the UK High court allowed [JURIST report] a lawsuit filed by former Guantanamo Bay detainees alleging that the UK government was complicit in their torture to proceed. In April, former Guantanamo Bay detainee Adel Hassan Hamad [advocacy website] filed a lawsuit [JURIST report] in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington [official website] against the US government and more than a dozen government officials, claiming he was tortured.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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