German-Turk ex-Gitmo detainee pressing Pentagon to release secret documents

[JURIST] Murat Kurnaz [Amnesty International case sheet; JURIST news archive], a Turkish citizen born in Germany and formerly held at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], plans to request the release of secret military documents pertaining to his detention, according to his lawyer as reported in Wednesday's Der Tagesspiegel [media website, in German]. Kurnaz seeks the documents in relation to a lawsuit [complaint text, PDF] he filed [press release] in December against the US Department of Defense [official website]. Kurnaz lawyer Baher Azmy [official profile] claims the documents, originally sought under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) [text], could prove the US government believed Kurnaz was not a threat years before he was released last August [JURIST report] in response to repeated appeals to US authorities by current German Chancellor Angela Merkel [official website, in German].

In response to growing criticism [JURIST report] of the circumstances behind Kurnaz' detention, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier [BBC profile] has denied [JURIST report] that he knew about a US offer to release Kurnaz to Germany in 2002, notwithstanding a finding by a committee of the European parliament investigating CIA activity in Europe [JURIST report] that Germany refused the offer and extended Kurnaz' detention for three years. Kurnaz has alleged he suffered abuse and torture [Deutsche Welle report] as a detainee at Guantanamo Bay. US officials in Pakistan arrested Kurnaz shortly after September 11 and kept him in custody at Guantanamo from 2002 until 2006. AFP has more.

 

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