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CIA sued over extraordinary rendition practices, wrongful imprisonment

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] filed a lawsuit [PDF complaint; press release] against former CIA Director George Tenet and other CIA officials Tuesday on behalf of Khaled el-Masri [ACLU profile], a German man who claims he was wrongfully imprisoned in 2003. The complaint alleges that Masri was a victim of the CIA's extraordinary rendition [ACLU fact sheet; Wikipedia backgrounder] practices, during which detained terror suspects are taken to other countries for interrogation. Human rights advocates say terror suspects often wind up being tortured in countries in the Middle East and other regions. El-Masri alleges that he was kidnapped while on vacation in Macedonia, beaten, drugged and transported to a secret CIA facility in Afghanistan. While being held at the CIA prison, el-Masri says he was subjected to inhumane conditions and coercive interrogation; el-Masri was later left abandoned in Albania without ever being charged. The ACLU lawsuit comes amidst allegations that the CIA has operated covert prisons in Eastern Europe [JURIST report] and used European airports for "ghost flights" [JURIST report]. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is in Germany Tuesday, and though she declined to comment on el Masri's case, she did acknowledge that the US may make mistakes in its battle with terrorists. Reuters has more.

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