No Legal Redress for Victim of 'Kafkaesque Nightmare' at Guantanamo

A Syrian man lost his legal bid on Monday to seek damages from the United States for the torture he suffered at the hands of U.S. authorities during his seven years at Guantanamo that continued a “Kafkaesque nightmare.”

The setback for Abdul Rahim Abdul Razak al-Janko is a result of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Monday (pdf) to decline to review an appeals court ruling in January 2014 that he could not sue for the torture he experienced at the offshore prison because of the Military Commissions Act (MCA).

The MCA states: “No court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider an application for a writ of habeas corpus filed by or on behalf of an alien detained by the United States who has been determined by the United States to have been properly detained as an enemy combatant or is awaiting such determination.”

The high court’s decision leaves that ruling in place.

Janko, who was freed from Guantanamo in 2009, launched his suit against the U.S. military in 2010.

Janko’s complaint at the time charged that he “is the victim of a decade-long Kafkaesque nightmare from which he is just awakening.”


His nightmare began in 2000 when, as the Washington Post reported ay the time, he “was tortured by al-Qaeda and imprisoned by the Taliban under medieval conditions for 18 months on suspicion of being a spy for the United States or Israel.” Then, the legal complaint continues:

The complaint added: “Whether a country provides redress for the people it has wronged in violation of international and U.S. law is a true test of the character of a nation.”

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