El-Masri v the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Forum: European Court of Human Rights
INTERIGHTS’ role: Third party interveners
Keywords: Extraordinary rendition, extradition, deportation, torture, detention, enforced disappearance

On 31 March 2011 INTERIGHTS intervened in the case of El-Masri v the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia before the European Court of Human Rights. The case concerns Macedonia’s participation in the “extraordinary rendition” of Mr. El-Masri from Macedonia to Afghanistan and then to Albania. INTERIGHTS’ intervention addresses the relevant rights violated by the extraordinary rendition practices, and the obligation of states not to aid or assist renditions carried out by foreign states. The submission draws on international human rights law and general international law principles on state responsibility. Click here to read the text of the third party intervention.

Mr. Khaled El-Masri was deprived of his liberty and held in Macedonia for over 20 days, during which time he was interrogated about his suspected involvement in terrorism, and subsequently handed over to US agents who flew him out of Macedonia to a detention base in Afghanistan. Mr. El-Masri then spent the next four months in secret detention, and was subjected to torture and repeated interrogation. He was then flown back to Europe, and released near the Albanian border. While in the hands of the Macedonian and the US officials, Mr. El-Masri did not have access to any legal process, nor was he allowed any contacts with the outside world. For more information on the facts of the case, see the Court’s Statement of Facts.

INTERIGHTS contact: Vesselina Vandova.