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Rights group asks federal court to preserve evidence in Guantanamo Bay suicide

[JURIST] In an effort to learn more about the circumstances surrounding the suicide of three Guantanamo Bay detainees [JURIST report], the Center for Constitutional Rights filed an Emergency Motion for Preservation of Evidence [PDF text; press release] in federal court late Monday on behalf of the father of detainee Salah Ali Abdullah Al-Salami. The motion asks the district court in Washington, DC to compel the government to:

(1) produce to the Court official documentation of Al-Salami's death; and, (2) preserve and maintain all evidence related to his death, his detention, the reasons for his detention, any interrogations of him, his treatment and potential mistreatment, along with any and all other evidence sufficient to test the veracity of any official documentation of death produced by Respondents.
The motion contends that based on the "meager" information released by the government regarding the suicides as of yet, "it is not possible to even know who died in [the government's] custody, let alone how," and that a preservation order would not be unduly burdensome on the government.

CCR represented Al-Salami in his habeas corpus petition challenging his continued detention at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive]. The government's investigation into the suicides is being conducted by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) [official website], the federal law enforcement group that threatened to remove itself from Guantanamo Bay interrogations [JURIST report] in 2002 due to detainee abuse. CCR has been critical of detainee conditions [press release] at Guantanamo Bay, and condemned the US military [JURIST report] for a delay in notifying them and families about the suicides. AP has more.

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