Rendition Victim Loses US Torture Appeal

Technicality KOs case at center of recent movie
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Jul 1, 2008 7:56 AM CDT
Maher Arar talks with reporters in Ottawa last year. Canada formally asked the Bush administration to remove torture victim Arar from any lists that would prevent him from flying to the US.   (AP Photo/Tom Hanson, The Canadian Press)
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(Newser) – A Canadian software engineer has lost an appeal against the US for his torture in Syria on a technicality, Reuters reports. Syrian-born Maher Arar, whose story inspired the Hollywood movie Rendition, was forced off a flight in New York in 2002 and shipped to Syria, where he says he was tortured for more than a year.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Arar failed to establish that a US court had the right to hear his case because he's an alien who never technically entered American jurisdiction. Arar's attorney blasted the decision, which he said allowed the use of the immigration process as a "guise to send someone to be tortured." The case has rattled US-Canadian relations. Condoleezza Rice has admitted the US mishandled the case—but hasn't apologized.