Guantanamo Civil Action Dismissed

By Benjamin Wittes
Saturday, February 2, 2013, 6:41 AM

Chief Judge Royce Lamberth of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has dismissed a civil suit by several former Guantanamo detainees arguing that they were subject to wrongful detention and harsh treatment at the base. His decision opens:

The six plaintiffs in this action—Yuksel Celikgogus, Ibrahim Sen, Nuri Mert, Zakirjan Hasam, Abu Muhammad, and Sami Al Laithi—were held by the United States at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility where they allege that they were abused by defendants or at defendants’ direction. They bring these consolidated actions against numerous U.S. officials, asserting claims under the Alien Tort Statute (“ATS”), 28 U.S.C. § 1350; the First and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution; the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”), 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb et seq.; and the Civil Rights Act of 1871, 42 U.S.C. § 1985(3). Three of the men allege that abuses occurred after a Combatant Status Review Tribunal determined that the three men were not enemy combatants.

Defendants have moved to dismiss plaintiffs’ complaints for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Celikgogus, Defs.’ Mot., ECF No. 43; Al Laithi, Defs.’ Mot., ECF No. 10. Because all of these claims are legally indistinguishable from those rejected by the D.C. Circuit in Rasul v. Myers (Rasul I), 512 F.3d 644 (D.C. Cir. 2008), cert. granted, judgment vacated, 555 U.S. 1083 (2008), judgment reinstated Rasul v. Myers (Rasul II), 563 F.3d 527 (D.C. Cir. 2009), the Court will GRANT defendants’ motions to dismiss.