HSRD attorneys Dan Stormer and Brian Olney, along with Haydee J. Dijkstal of London-based firm Stoke and White LLP, filed suit in 2015 on behalf of Ahmet and Hikmet Doğan, the parents of an American victim, Furkan Doğan. They argued that former Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak violated international human rights statutes in 2010 when he ordered Israeli soldiers to raid a humanitarian flotilla in the Mediterranean Sea, killing many of the unarmed passengers on board-including Furkan Doğan who was filming the assault-and that the violations where not subject to immunity granted to an official acting on behalf of a sovereign state.
In the rehearing petition, Stormer wrote, “By granting immunity, the panel subjects U.S. courts to the whims of those foreign governments willing to embrace their officials’ acts of torture and extrajudicial killing, acts that violate standards accepted by virtually every nation as their own. This does not simply disregard Congress’s intent in passing the TVPA, it literally turns Congress’s intent on its head.”
Of the denied petition, he said, “In this case an American citizen was murdered in cold blood and this decision gives his murderers full immunity. It is contrary to the very essence of the rule of law and we are saddened by the court’s acquiescence to this travesty.”