Wednesday, June 11, 2014

DC Circuit Dismisses Suit By Former Gitmo Detainees Claiming Disruption of Religious Practices

In Allaithi v. Rumsfeld, (DC Cir., June 10, 2014), former Guantanamo detainees brought a damage action under the Alien Tort Statute, as well as under the 1st Amendment and RFRA, against various individuals who authorized and supervised their detention.  At issue in this appeal is the claim by certain of the plaintiffs that after they were cleared by the Combatant Status Review Tribunal, but before they were released, they were mistreated in various ways, including disruption of their religious practices. The appeals court agreed with the district court that the individual defendants were acting within the scope of their employment in carrying out the challenged actions.  Therefore the claims should have been brought against the United States government pursuant to 28 USC Sec. 2679(d), and not against the individuals. Center for Constitutional Rights issued a press release discussing the decision.