Court Rules Against Palestinian Torture Victim

By JTA

Published April 20, 2012.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously against a request by the family of an American allegedly tortured to death while in Palestinian custody to sue under the Torture Victim Protection Act.

The family of American citizen Azzam Rahim sought to sue the Palestinian Authority and Palestine Liberation Organization under the 1991 Torture Victim Protection Act after Rahim was arrested and allegedly tortured to death during a 1995 visit to the West Bank.

The question of the case was whether the law could apply to organizations, in addition to “individuals.

According to the New York Times, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote in the court opinion handed down this week that “an officer who gives an order to torture or kill is an ‘individual’ in that word’s ordinary usage; an organization is not.”



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