U.S. Appellate Court Denies Bivens Claim of U.S. Citizen Alleged Tortured by U.S. Law Enforcement Abroad

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Friday, November 20, 2015
Bruce Zagaris
On October 23, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in a 2-1 decision denied the right of a U.S. citizen to sue the U.S. government and several agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”) who allegedly arrested him abroad and illegally rendited him to different African countries, and interrogated or tortured him. Meshal, the U.S. citizen, claims they violated his Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights, when they detained, interrogated, and tortured him over the course of four months in three African countries. He argues a Bivens remedy in these circumstances is required and unexceptional. The U.S. government condemns the pro-Bivens rational applied extraterritorially as unprecedented.