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The FOI Advocate is a compendium of ideas, edited story excerpts and other materials from a variety of Web sites, as well as original concepts and analysis. When the information comes directly from another source, it will be attributed and a link will be provided whenever possible. The blog relies on the accuracy and integrity of the original sources cited. We will correct errors and inaccuracies when we become aware of them.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Federal Judge on Overseas Prisoners: Lemme See Those Records

A federal judge today ordered the CIA and the Department of Defense (DoD) to provide him with documents related to the treatment of prisoners in U.S. custody overseas. Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of the Southern District of New York ordered the government to make the documents available to him so he can determine for himself whether they should be made public pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and other organizations.

"Given the evidence of widespread and systemic abuse of prisoners, it is entirely appropriate for the judge to view these documents for himself instead of taking the government's word for why they should be kept secret," said Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, staff attorney with the ACLU. "The right of the American public to know whether its own government respects the laws against torture is central to democracy. The Freedom of Information Act was designed to disclose precisely this kind of information and we are hopeful that the documents will be made public."

More here.

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