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Tuesday, April 9, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Justices Order Review |of Gitmo Torture Case

(CN) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ordered the D.C. Circuit to review its dismissal of a Guantanamo torture case in light of the high court's ruling in Boumediene v. Bush, which upheld detainees' right to challenge their detention in U.S. civilian courts.

Four former detainees said they were "beaten, shackled in painful stress positions, threatened by dogs, subjected to extreme temperatures and deprived of adequate sleep, food, sanitation, medical care and communication."

In January, the D.C. Circuit dismissed the ex-prisoners' lawsuit against former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and several high-ranking military officers. Because the plaintiffs were outside U.S. territory when the alleged torture occurred, the court reasoned, their claims do not fall under the protections of the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act.

The high court vacated and remanded in view of its 5-4 decision in Boumediene, which extended "the constitutional privilege of habeas corpus" to Guantanamo detainees.

The federal appeals court will reconsider the plaintiffs' allegations that guards scorned their religion by forcing them to shave their beards, banning or interrupting prayers, denying copies of the Koran and prayer mats, and throwing a copy of the Koran in a toilet.

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