You are herecontent / CIA Rendition Case Heads to Europe's Top Human Rights Judges

CIA Rendition Case Heads to Europe's Top Human Rights Judges

Open Society

A botched CIA anti-terrorism operation in Macedonia that led to a German citizen being mistakenly shipped to Afghanistan for secret interrogation for four months is to come under the scrutiny of Europe’s most senior human rights judges.

The case, El-Masri v Macedonia, was brought before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg on behalf of Khaled El-Masri by the Open Society Justice Initiative in 2009.

It has now become one of only 29 cases before the 17 judges of the European Court’s Grand Chamber, which focuses on exceptional cases of human rights law.

Macedonian agents seized El-Masri on December 31, 2003 and held him incommunicado for 23 days, accusing him of being a member of Al-Qaida. They subsequently handed him over to a team from the US Central Intelligence who flew him to Kabul. He was secretly detained and interrogated for four months in Afghanistan, before being flown back to Europe and left on the side of a road in Albania.

El-Masri is seeking an investigation by Macedonia.

Macedonia continues to deny the facts of El-Masri’s detention and rendition. US courts have rejected attempts by El-Masri to seek compensation. US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks website show that US diplomats put pressure on Germany not to seek the extradition of several Americans allegedly involved in the case, while also encouraging Macedonia to maintain its silence on what happened.

James A. Goldston, executive director of the Open Society Justice Initiative, welcomed the decision to elevate the case from the Trial Chamber where it was initially filed. “This move underscores the importance the European Court properly attaches to the issues under examination,” he said.

Goldston added: “It is time for both the US and Macedonia to acknowledge the facts of this case and compensate El-Masri appropriately.”

While the US has declined to pursue investigations into abuses linked to the Bush era “extraordinary rendition” program, both the UK and Spain announced new inquiries into alleged abuses last month. A third inquiry is continuing in Poland.

In contrast, the Obama administration has stuck to its position not to investigate whether Bush administration officials acted illegally by authorizing the use of harsh interrogation techniques.


Support This Site


Get free books and gear when you become a supporter.



Speaking Truth to Empire


Families United


Ray McGovern


Julie Varughese


Financial supporters of this site can choose to be listed here.



Ca-Dress Long Prom Dresses Canada
Ca Dress Long Prom Dresses on

Buy Books

Get Gear

The log-in box below is only for bloggers. Nobody else will be able to log in because we have not figured out how to stop voluminous spam ruining the site. If you would like us to have the resources to figure that out please donate. If you would like to receive occasional emails please sign up. If you would like to be a blogger here please send your resume.
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.