The European Court of Human Rights ruled that Macedonia violated the rights of Khaled el-Masri when it arrested him and turned him over to the United States.
In a unanimous ruling, the 17-judge panel, based in Strasbourg, France, found that Macedonia had violated the European Convention on Human Rights’ prohibition on torture and inhuman or degrading treatment, and ordered it to pay the man about $78,000 in damages. It was the first time a court had ruled in favor of the man, Khaled el-Masri, 49, in a case that focused attention on the C.I.A.’s clandestine rendition program, in which terrorism suspects were transported to third countries for interrogation.
The decision, which Amnesty International hailed as “a historic moment and a milestone in the fight against impunity,” is final and cannot be appealed. The C.I.A. declined to comment. A lawsuit against the United States filed on Mr. Masri’s behalf by the American Civil Liberties Union was dismissed in 2006 on the grounds that it would expose state secrets. The group filed a petition in 2008 at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in 2008; the United States government has yet to respond.
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