Posted Dec 14, 2009 05:30 pm CST
The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal by four former Guantanamo prisoners that alleged they were tortured and subjected to religious discrimination.
The former inmates, all British citizens, had claimed they were beaten, deprived of food and water, shackled in painful stress positions and deprived of sleep. The detainees also alleged their captors forced them to shave their beards, denied them copies of the Koran and, in one instance, threw the Koran in a toilet bucket.
Last year the Supreme Court had told the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to reconsider a decision to toss the suit, Rasul v. Myers. The appeals court ruled earlier this year that former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and 10 other defendants, all military officers, have qualified immunity.
Eric Lewis, a partner in Washington, D.C.’s Baach Robinson & Lewis, is the lead lawyer for the detainees. “It is an awful day for the rule of law and common decency when the Supreme Court lets stand such an inhuman decision,” he said in a press release.