WASHINGTON – A federal appeals court ruled that the government can continue suppressing transcripts in which former CIA prisoners now held at Guantánamo Bay describe abuse and torture they suffered in CIA custody. The ruling came in an ACLU Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit to obtain uncensored transcripts from Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRTs) used to determine if Guantánamo detainees qualify as "enemy combatants."Read the rest here.
“The American people have a right to know what the government has done in their name, and these transcripts, which include the direct testimony of the victims themselves, are essential to a full understanding of the Bush administration’s torture program,” said Ben Wizner, Litigation Director of the ACLU National Security Project, who argued the appeal for the ACLU. “The court’s decision undermines the Freedom of Information Act and condones a cover-up. These transcripts are being suppressed not to protect national security, but to shield former government officials from accountability.”
The ACLU lawsuit sought transcripts of statements made by Guantánamo prisoners concerning the abuse they allegedly suffered while in U.S. custody. While the CIA released heavily-redacted versions of the documents in June 2009, it continues to suppress major portions of the documents, including detainees' allegations of torture.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Court rules government can continue to suppress detainee statements describing torture and abuse
from the ACLU: