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US government settles with post 9/11 detention plaintiffs for $1.26 million

[JURIST] Five men who claim they were illegally detained after 9/11 [JURIST news archive] reached a settlement agreement [CCR release] with the US government for $1.26 million, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) [advocacy website], which represented the men, announced Tuesday. The men were part of Turkmen v. Ashcroft [CCR backgrounder], a suit against several Bush administration officials and law enforcement organizations. The suit [complaint, PDF], which was filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York [official website] in 2004, claims that immigration officials arrested the men on immigration charges as suspected terrorists, that the men were abused while in detention, and that the government held the men for months after they had been eliminated as terror suspects. The government did not admit any wrongdoing as part of the settlement. CCR announced that the two plaintiffs who did not reach an agreement will continue the case, and CCR has sought permission to add five additional plaintiffs.

In 2008, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit [official website] heard oral arguments [NYT report] in the case, but has not reached a decision. In 2007, a district court judge granted the government's motion to dismiss [text, PDF] a number of the claims, but refused to dismiss the abuse claims. Also in 2007, the government charged [JURIST report] several guards at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn official website], the location in which men were detained, with abusing prisoners.

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