Dutch Court Refuses to Extradite Terrorism Suspect to United States Because of U.S. Torture

Dutch authorities have blocked the extradition of a Pakistani-Dutch citizen to the United States, citing concerns over torture. The man, named Sabir Khan, has been wanted by American authorities for ties to murder, terrorism and al-Qaeda, but his story illuminates some of the ways in which America’s use of torture has hindered their own justice system.

It started almost 5 years ago, when Khan was picked up by Pakistani authorities who did so at the request of the United States. Khan said that he was held in a secret prison in Pakistan and tortured. Since his mother is a Dutch national, Khan was later released to the Netherlands where a long legal battle to bring him to New York and face charges ensued.

Dutch authorities have always been reticent to extradite Khan because they could not confirm whether or not the CIA was involved in any of his torture. International law, as well as Dutch law, doesn’t allow extradition to countries that have taken part in torture.

It’s reported that after the judge refused to send Khan, the United States sent a letter to the Netherlands, commenting that the torture Khan suffered was on behalf of the ISI – the Pakistani Intelligence Service – and not the American government. However, because there is no way to ‘prove’ the CIA wasn’t involved, and did not play a role, the judge in the case stood firm.

However, the case can still be challenged.

In 2012, Khan narrowly escaped extradition to the USA, after a judge ruled that there was no direct evidence that the United States was involved in Khan’s torture. It was only a last minute appeal by his lawyers that kept him inside the Netherlands.

During the longstanding legal battle over Khan’s custody, TIME reported last year that he has been free for some time. Khan did tell TIME that he feels he is likely under constant surveillance.

It throws an interesting wrench into the works for the American justice system. The credibility of America, as a fair and equal state, fell dramatically in the past few years. The reasons cited for this include the documented abuse at Abu Ghraib, the continued detention without trial of inmates at Guantanamo Bay, and of course, the CIA torture report.

However, some still think those who speak of mistreatment in American prison systems are clearly just trying to manipulate the jurisprudence of the Dutch. Abigail R. Esman, who wrote a scathing article about the ‘belief’ Dutch court held in the word of terror suspects, had this to say:

“One could almost pity the Dutch – in the most patronizing way – for their naiveté, for the ease with which they are gamed by the blatant falsehoods of men (and occasionally, women) with demonstrated terrorist ties and clear plans to kill in the name of their idea of god.”

Yet it is in the basis of international law that extradition can be withheld over issues of torture, and even capital punishment (except in the most heinous of crimes and only when the sentence can be carried out humanely).

Many see the Dutch as simply protecting the rights of one of their own citizens from a fate where, history has proven, torture and mistreatment has occurred. Perhaps this is the wake up call that America needs, to realize how far their moral standing in the international community has fallen.

151 comments

Jack Y
Jack Y3 months ago

thanks

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Jack Y
Jack Y3 months ago

thanks

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Jack Y
Jack Y3 months ago

thanks

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Jack Y
Jack Y3 months ago

thanks

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Mark Donners
Mark Donner3 years ago

Not only that but every country tortures animals. Therefore every government of the human race is guilty of terrorism.

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven3 years ago

thanks for the article.

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Berny p.
berny p3 years ago

To Simon T..

Thank you for your comment.....
I LIVE IN FRANCE...with muslims.......so I SEE what is happening to the locals....as long as government will not listen to their people the back lash will happen.
I would like to live in peace with everyone BUT THE REALITY on the grown is different than in books and talks! DO what need to be done so that the citizen ..their country feel they matter more than other backward believe...
IF you dont deal with this....you only are brewing problems for the futur.

By the way..my sister in law is a muslim.....but maried to an european who does not beleive in sharia law and live in this century!

have a good day.

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Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallus3 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

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Jonathan Harper
Jonathan Harper4 years ago

noted

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Sandra D.
Sandra D4 years ago

Show me a country that says it has not tortured or mistreated prisoners (for whatever reason justified it at the time) and I will show you fraud! What culture brought us the wonderful world of apartheid? Where did slavery begin? Who were the first to rape and pillage? Which army first killed and wiped out an entire town/race/tribe/culture? One would have to go back in history a long ways. Yes we should have learned from these but apparently that is not true. Terrorism is the biggest threat to the world today! And who are the major perpetrators of this crime? I do not condone torture but I do think that we should have smart enough people in charge that is should not be necessary! Every country has it's skeletons in the closet.

We are all of us related/interlinked in one way or another and if this person is guilty of terrorist crimes it is wrong not extradite him. Some kind of compromise that satisfies both countries sensibilities should be found and used so that true justice can be served. Who is standing up for the victims of this man if he truly is a terrorist? It saddens me to think that 2 civilized and powerful countries cannot find a simple solution to ensure that the horrific/tortuous crimes that are being perpetrated on innocents around the world are punished as crimes against humanity and properly dealt with in a court of law and not a torture chamber! Do your jobs politicians and judges and this would not happen!

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