Jul 9, 2006

American Detained In Iraq Sues Rumsfeld, Military Commanders

The DOD is probably hoping this doesn't crack open the door for legal challenges to the detention regime in Iraq.

An aspiring Iranian American filmmaker who spent nearly two months in a prison in Iraq without being charged has sued Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld and other military officials, calling the government's detention policies unconstitutional.

Cyrus Kar, 45, of Los Angeles, seeks unspecified damages and major changes in the government's detention policies overseas.

The suit was filed this week in federal court by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California. It is the first civil case challenging detention policies in Iraq, said Mark Rosenbaum, the organization's legal director....

Kar was taken into custody in May 2005 after he visited Iraq to make a documentary film about Cyrus the Great, the Persian king who wrote the world's first human rights charter. Potential bomb parts were found in (the trunk of) a taxi in which Kar was riding.

He was released July 10, 2005, after his family sued, accusing the federal government of violating his civil rights and holding him after the FBI cleared him of suspicion. He is a former U.S. Navy Seal, according to news reports.

The new lawsuit said his 55-day detention violated not only his civil rights, but also the Geneva Conventions and the law of nations.

"Human rights monitors note that the vast majority of the over 15,000 detainees in U.S. military custody in Iraq have never been charged, tried, provided counsel, or allowed to challenge their detention in court, and over one-fifth of them have been detained for over a year in this manner," the suit states....

In addition to Rumsfeld, the defendants include Army Gen. George W. Casey Jr., commanding general of the multinational forces in Iraq, and Maj. Gen. William H. Brandenburg, who was in charge of detainee operations in Iraq at the time of Kar's detention.

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