El-Masri v. Tenet

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El-Masri v. Tenet is a case originally heard in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Khaled el-Masri‎ was suing George Tenet, Director of Central Intelligence for damages from the U.S. government, based on damages he suffered by his extrajudicial detention by the Central Intelligence Agency. He had been captured in Macedonia, held in Afghanistan, and then, when it was determined he was innocent and had been confused with another person, released without ceremony or assistance in Albania.

His suit was filed on December 6, 2005. It was dismissed, in May 2006, by the District Court, after the U.S. government invoked the state secrets privilege to avoid discussing why he had been captured; how he had been subjected to extraordinary rendition, extrajudicial detention andtorture; and why and how he was released.

In November 2006, the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the lower court dismissal, and the Supreme Court of the United States, in October 2007, declined to review the case. This case has been used as a strong precedent for a wide interpretation of the state secrets privilege.

After exhausting U.S. legal options, although not political ones, the American Civil Liberties Union, on April 9, 2008, filed a complaint to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).