Feds settle suit alleging abuse by men detained after 9/11

Bureau of Prisons Sept 11 Settlement
Posted at 3:08 PM, Jul 05, 2022

The Justice Department has settled a long-running lawsuit filed by a group of men rounded up in the weeks after the September 2001 attack who say they were abused in a federal lockup in New York City.

The settlement was announced on Tuesday. It calls for a $98,000 payout to be split among the six men who filed the suit. While the government doesn't admit guilt in the settlement, each of the men received a letter from the director of the Bureau of Prisons acknowledging they were "held in excessively restrictive and unduly harsh conditions."

“I don’t believe justice is properly served, considering the detrimental consequences the defendants’ actions have had on my life,” said Benamar Benatta who says he was detained in restrictive conditions and in some cases, abused by staff members. “I can’t help but feel let down by the whole judicial system – federal courts had the opportunity to remedy the situation but chose not to intervene, and, by doing so, they left the door open for future mistreatment and abuse to take place without any ramifications.”

“I don’t know that the director of the Bureau of Prisons has ever signed a letter of this nature before to individual clients, so that is unique,” said Rachel Meeropol, senior staff attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, who represents the men.