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American convicted of torturing Afghan detainees sues AP

[JURIST] Jonathan 'Jack' Idema [BBC profile; JURIST news archive], an American civilian convicted of illegal imprisonment and torture as a rogue vigilante in Afghanistan in 2004, filed a lawsuit against the Associated Press [media website] Thursday, alleging that AP defamed, libeled, and slandered him. He also alleged that AP distributed photographs and video provided by Idema or his lawyers without obtaining publishing rights from Idema's agent. AP associate general counsel Dave Tomlin characterized the suit as "nonsense."

In July 2004, Idema, a former member of the US Army Special Forces who was reportedly not allowed to re-enlist following his first tenure of service due to performance and discipline issues [court records, PDF], was arrested by Afghan forces [JURIST report] along with US journalist Edward Caraballo [personal website] and ex-serviceman Brent Bennett after a raid on their house in Kabul revealed eight Afghan captives. Idema claims that the Pentagon sanctioned his operation, which the US State Department has denied [JURIST report]. AP has more.

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