A federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., appears poised to uphold the dismissal of a suit that alleges government torture in Afghanistan and in Iraq of nine civilians who claim they were beaten, burned and shocked before being released without charges.

Arguing for the plaintiffs on Thursday, Cecillia Wang of the American Civil Liberties Union confronted a skeptical U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit panel that seemed unwilling to overturn earlier circuit rulings that blocked holding government officials liable for alleged torture of former Guantanamo Bay detainees.

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