The family of Kenyan Guantánamo Bay detainee Mohamed Abdulmalik has filed a lawsuit against the Kenyan government claiming that he was illegally detained, tortured, and renditioned to US authorities. The suit seeks Abdulmalik’s return to Kenya and $30 million in damages.
Abdulmalik was originally arrested by the Kenyan Anti-terrorism Police Unit in Mombassa in 2007 in connection with the 2002 bombing of a resort hotel and a failed attempt to shoot down an Israeli charter plane. He was then taken into US custody and eventually transfered to Guantánamo where he allegedly confessed to the crimes, although his Combatant Status Review Tribunal report is still classified. British human rights group Reprieve, which has helped Abdulmalik’s family, stated that the case points out the illegal means by which detainees have ended up in Guantanamo. Kenyan authorities deny arresting Abdulmalik, whom they claim is not a Kenyan citizen, and handing him over to the US military.
The lawsuit comes as US authorities are working to close the Guantanamo prison. US President Barack Obama originally pledged to close the facility by January, but in October, US Attorney General Eric Holder announced that the Obama administration may miss its January deadline for closing Guantanamo Bay, echoing prior statements by top administration officials. (Obama himself recently made a similar comment.) (Jurist, Dec. 12)