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US citizen sues Syria over torture amid regional embrace of Assad

Obada Mzaik filed a federal lawsuit against the Syrian government over torture he says he endured during his three-week detention in 2012.

WASHINGTON — As Syria’s neighbors slowly mend fences with a government they’ve long shunned for its brutality, a Syrian-American man detained and allegedly tortured more than a decade ago by the regime’s security apparatus is suing to hold it accountable. 

At the time of his arrest in January 2012, Obada Mzaik was a 22-year-old college student who had just arrived from Michigan to visit with his Syrian relatives and finish his studies. Mzaik, who was born in Ohio and raised in Syria, fled the country seven months earlier as the government escalated its crackdown on the peaceful revolt against President Bashar al-Assad. 

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