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Europe to hear CIA rendition case

June 15, 2010 at 12:35 PM

NEW YORK, June 15 (UPI) -- European governments must be held accountable for their role in the extraordinary rendition practices in the so-called war on terror, rights groups say.

According to the Open Society Justice Initiative, the European Court of Human Rights said it would consider the case of German citizen Khaled el-Masri who was subjected to extraordinary rendition allegedly at the hands of the CIA.

Security forces in Macedonia operating at the apparent request of the CIA apprehended Masri in December 2003 for his alleged role in an al-Qaida cell in Germany. He was transferred to a detention center in Afghanistan and released in 2004 in Albania at Washington's request.

James Goldston, executive director of the advocacy group, said that while U.S. courts have refused to hear the Masri case, European courts must hold their respective governments to the standards of justice.

"European governments must be held accountable for participating in torture, abuse and kidnappings in association with the CIA's rendition program," he said.

The Open Society Justice Initiative is litigating the case.

The U.S. Supreme Court in October 2007 refused to hear the case by citing the "state secrets privilege."

Masri claims he was abducted and tortured at the hands of U.S. intelligence agents while he was imprisoned in Afghanistan.

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