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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

ACLU sues Boeing subsidiary for allegedly facilitating CIA torture
Gabriel Haboubi at 2:08 PM ET

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] filed a lawsuit [press release] in the US District Court for the Northern District of California Wednesday against San Jose-based Boeing [corporate website] subsidiary Jeppesen Dataplan [corporate website], alleging that the airline service provider knowingly supported direct flights to secret CIA prisons, facilitating the torture and mistreatment of US detainees. The ACLU alleges that Jeppesen played a key role in the extraordinary rendition [JURIST news archive] flights by providing a number of vital services including itinerary, route, weather, and fuel planning, as well as obtaining over-flight and landing permits from foreign governments. The ACLU is representing three men who were subjected to the CIA flights: Binyam Muhammad, currently being detained at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], Abou Elkassim Britel, currently in a Moroccan prison, and Ahmed Agiza, currently in an Egyptian prison.

Binyam Muhammad initially said that he was tortured [JURIST report] in 2005, citing abuse in Pakistan, Morocco, and Afghanistan before his transfer to Guantanamo Bay. He reiterated his claims last year [JURIST report] at a pre-trial appearance before a US military commission, and said that his confession to conspiring to use a "dirty bomb" against the US was the result of Moroccan torture [JURIST report]. The ACLU lawsuit is being brought under the Alien Tort Statute [28 USC 1350 text], which allows civil actions by aliens for torts "committed in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States". AP has more.

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