U.S. court rejects former Guantanamo inmate's torture claim
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By Robert Iafolla and Lawrence Hurley
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court on Friday threw out a former Guantanamo Bay detainee’s lawsuit claiming he was tortured after he was taken into U.S. custody at age 15.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit unanimously ruled that a 2006 law that created military commissions bars Mohammed Jawad from suing for damages in U.S. courts.
"By its clear terms, this provision strips federal courts of jurisdiction to hear most claims against the United States arising out of the detention of aliens like Jawad captured during the United States’ invasion of Afghanistan in response to the attacks of September 11, 2001," wrote Judge Thomas Griffith.
A lower court had reached a similar conclusion.
Over the course of his six years in detention at the U.S. naval station in Cuba, Jawad was interrogated more than 60 times, according to the ruling. It said the sessions occurred , even after the government decided he had no useful intelligence, and included excessive cold, loud noise, beatings, pepper-spray, and being shackled for prolonged periods. Jawad was captured in Afghanistan in 2002 following a grenade attack that seriously injured two U.S. soldiers and their Afghan interpreter.
The United States transferred Jawad back to Afghanistan in 2009.
The appeals court has rejected similar claims made by other detainees.
The United States opened the Guantanamo detention facility in 2002 to hold what it described as foreign terrorism suspects. The treatment of detainees there has drawn international criticism.
(Reporting by Robert Iafolla and Lawrence Hurley; Editing by David Gregorio)
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