WASHINGTON (JTA) – 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 the Palestinian Authority under the Torture Victim Protection Act.
The family of Azzam Rahim sought to sue the PA and the Palestine Liberation Organization under the 1991 Torture Victim Protection Act. Rahim, a naturalized American citizen, was arrested and allegedly tortured to death during a 1995 visit to the West Bank.
The question at issue in the case was whether the law could be used to sue organizations as well as 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.”