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ACLU sues for full hearing transcripts for 14 'high-value' Guantanamo detainees

[JURIST] The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) [advocacy website] filed a lawsuit [complaint, PDF; press release] Thursday seeking to compel the US government to release unredacted transcripts of military hearings conducted at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] in early 2007 for 14 "high-value" prisoners [DNI profiles, PDF], during which the prisoners allegedly described torture and abuse sustained during detention in CIA secret prisons [JURIST report]. The complaint argues that revealing the detainees' descriptions of their treatment while in CIA custody will "cause no harm to national security," and asserts that the government has withheld the information to hide illegal interrogation activity by US officials and to protect the government from "embarrassment and criticism." The abuse is alleged to have taken place before the detainees were transferred to Guantanamo Bay.

The 14 detainees include alleged mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks Khalid Sheikh Mohammed [BBC profile], as well as Abu Zubaydah [BBC profile] and Majid Khan [GlobalSecurity profile]. The ACLU has previously filed Freedom of Information Act requests [ACLU archive] for release of documents relating to treatment of detainees while in CIA custody. Last April, in an affidavit submitted to a military review panel convened to determine whether Khan was an "enemy combatant", Khan's father accused CIA officials [JURIST reports] of torturing his son. The Department of Defense later said that all 14 had been determined to be enemy combatants [JURIST report]. The Miami Herald has more.

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