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Extraordinary Rendition and the El-Masri Case

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Khaled El-Masri's extraordinary rendition case is the most famous detainee case. He's been on “60 Minutes” and virtually all major news programs in the U.S. to tell his story.

Khaled El-Masri was traveling to Macedonia for vacation when he was first picked up by border officials at the end of 2003. It has been reported that the border officials at this time thought that El-Masri was an al-Qaeda operator who had his same name.

He was held in a hotel in Macedonia for over three weeks, and then handed over to American security officials. These officials beat him and drugged him before bringing him to a covert CIA interrogation center in Afghanistan.

While in Afghanistan, El-Masri claims he was beaten, raped and kept in a filthy cell. He was repeatedly interrogated about his purported ties to al-Qaeda and terrorism.

In April of 2004–four months since he was initially taken into custody–CIA Director George Tenet learned that El-Masri was being wrongfully imprisoned.

It wasn't until May 28 that El-Masri was finally released. He was dropped off in a desolate area of Albania and told never to tell his story to anyone.

In December of 2005, the ACLU helped El-Masri file a suit against former CIA director George Tenet.

Ben Wizner is an attorney for the ACLU, and he represented Khaled El-Masri in court.

When El-Masri and the ACLU first filed the lawsuit, El-Masri was barred from entering the United States, and had to participate in the trial via a video link.

Related Links:
More on the ACLU’s Case on Behalf of Khaled El-Masri
Amnesty International USA Petition for Macedonian Government to Release Khalid el-Masri and end Retention Program

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