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Guantanamo detainee files suit against psychologists who devised interrogation tactics

[JURIST] Attorneys for Guantanamo detainee Abu Zubaydah have filed a lawsuit against the two psychologists, James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, who developed the harsh interrogation techniques used by the CIA, including waterboarding and sleep deprivation. The UK human rights group Reprieve [advocacy website] announced the case on Wednesday. The attorneys are seeking to subpoena [advocacy website] the psychologists in order to uncover evidence about the American-led torture that allegedly went on in Poland. According to US law, a federal district court may [discovery order, PDF] "order discovery of documents and testimony for use in a foreign proceeding from any person who
resides or is found in the court's district." The case will be heard in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Washington [official website]. The CIA had detained [AP report] the plaintiff in a secret Polish prison from 2002 to 2003 on suspicions that he was a "facilitator" for al Qaeda. Zubaydah has been held at Guantanamo since 2006. In April 2016 a federal judge ruled [JURIST report] that another lawsuit against the same psychologists with different plaintiffs could proceed.

Guantanamo Bay remains [JURIST backgrounder] a controversial issue due to allegations of torture and lack of legal rights for detainees. In January a federal judge declined [JURIST report] to intervene in the release of a Guantanamo prisoner. In November then-president Barack Obama blamed [JURIST report] the failure to close Guantanamo Bay on Congressional restrictions. In August a federal appeals court threw out [JURIST report] a former Guantanamo detainee's torture claim.

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