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Federal judge orders Pentagon to disclose names of released, abused Gitmo detainees

[JURIST] A federal judge Wednesday ruled that the Pentagon must release additional documents revealing the names of Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees who have either been released or who have alleged abuse by prison guards or other detainees. The order was made pursuant to a lawsuit [JURIST report] brought by the Associated Press [media website] in March under the Freedom of Information Act [text]. US District Judge Jed Rakoff said the public has a well-established interest in uncovering "government malfeasance" and gave the government one week to hand over the materials, rejecting government arguments that to do so would infringe on prisoners' privacy rights. He pointed out that several detainees have publicly alleged abuse [JURIST news archive] both during and after their imprisonments at Guantanamo, and revealing their identities was never a problem for them. He also ordered the government to release documents regarding eight investigations into alleged abuse by military personnel and nearly 12 investigations of prisoner-on-prisoner abuse. AP has more.

The Pentagon has disclosed the names of present and former Guantanamo detainees in fits and starts since AP first brought its suit. In April, the Pentagon released a list of 558 detainees who had gone through reviews by Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRT). In May, under a separate agreement with AP, the Pentagon provided a list of 759 current and former Guantanamo prisoners [JURIST report]. A military spokesman said at the time that the list contained the names of "every single individual detained under DOD control" at Guantanamo since detention operations began in January 2002, but acknowledged in questioning that he "wouldn't know" of any other detainees who might have been held there by the CIA or other US arms "because I can't speak for other agencies."

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