Former Guantanamo Captive Sues US Over 'Kafkaesque Nightmare'
Abdul Razak al Janko is first prisoner released by judge to sue
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 10, 2010 4:48 PM CDT
In this photo reviewed by a US Department of Defense official, a Guantanamo detainee runs inside an exercise area at the detention facility on Guantanamo Bay US Naval Base in Cuba, April 27, 2010.   (AP Photo/Michelle Shephard, Pool)

(Newser) – Abdul Razak al Janko, a former Guantánamo captive, is suing the US government for damages from the imprisonment he describes as a “Kafkaesque nightmare.” Janko, a 32-year-old Syrian man who now lives in Europe, is the first such captive freed by a federal judge to sue the government. He was first detained and tortured in Taliban-era Afghanistan, where he was suspected of being a pro-American Israeli spy, and was later captured by US troops in Afghanistan and detained in the US as a war prisoner, the Miami Herald reports.

Upon his arrival at Guantánamo in May 2002, Janko alleges US soldiers urinated on him, beat him, and subjected him to sleep deprivation and solitary confinement. He claims he attempted suicide 17 times. Though federal courts rebuffed an earlier bid by former Guantánamo captives to sue, those captives were released through a diplomatic deal, whereas Janko was released through a 2009 habeas corpus petition. A veteran Guantánamo defense lawyer points out, “The strongest case is going to be one where a court ruled a person wasn't lawfully held in the first place.”