El-Masri v. Macedonia

57 Eur. H.R. Rep. 25 (2012)

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El-Masri v. Macedonia

European Court of Human Rights
57 Eur. H.R. Rep. 25 (2012)

Facts

Khaled El-Masri (plaintiff) was a German national and suspected terrorist. The United States had understandings with different countries in which suspected terrorists would be delivered to U.S. agents. On December 31, 2003, as El-Masri was headed to Skopje in the Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (Macedonia) (defendant) for vacation, he was stopped at the Serbia-Macedonia border due to the newness of his German passport. El-Masri was detained and interrogated at the border checkpoint and then taken to a hotel where he was watched by a team of nine men. El-Masri was placed under constant surveillance, threatened at gunpoint, and offered a deal in which he would be released if he confessed to being a member of al-Qaeda. On day 13 of his detention, El-Masri began a hunger strike. On January 23, 2004, Macedonian security forces handcuffed and blindfolded El-Masri and took him to the Skopje Airport, under the guise of returning him to Germany. In fact, El-Masri was being turned over to a team of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officers. At the airport, El-Masri was beaten, violently unclothed, sodomized by an object, and tranquilized by a group of disguised men. The aircraft was guarded by Macedonian security guards. Thereafter, El-Masri was transported to a CIA-run facility in Afghanistan, where he was detained in a dark concrete cell for several months and interrogated by CIA officers. El-Masri went on two hunger strikes to protest his detention, and his health deteriorated. El-Masri’s captors forcibly fed him using a feeding tube. Eventually, in late May 2004, El-Masri was returned to Germany, 40 pounds lighter than he had been and in a completely unkempt state. El-Masri initiated a case against Macedonia, alleging violations of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (the convention), to which Macedonia was bound.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning ()

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