Wyatt v. Syrian Arab Republic (D.D.C. 2005): Syrian Liability for PKK Hostages

The survivor and the family of two men who were kidnapped and held for three weeks by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) sued the PKK under the Antiterrorism Act of 1991, as well as Syria, its Ministry of Defense, and several high-ranking Syrian officials under the state-sponsored terrorism exception to the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (FSIA) (which allows individuals to sue nations that sponsor terrorism). Syria moved to have the case dismissed, citing a lack of jurisdiction, insufficient process, and failure to make a claim. The Court allowed the plaintiffs an opportunity to address the points brought up by the defendants in an amended complaint, denying the defendant’s motion to dismiss without prejudice. The defendant’s subsequent motion to dismiss was denied. In July 2009, a status report was filed by the defendant, and the case was still open as of August 2011.

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