Group Sues U.S. Government to Force Release of Only Known Remaining Torture Video

Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Mohammed al-Qahtani (photo: Khaled Fazaa, AFP)
Lawyers from the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) have sued the U.S. government to force the release of the only known surviving videotape documenting the use of torture against terrorism suspects.
CCR seeks the recording of detainee Mohammed al-Qahtani while he was tortured during the George W. Bush administration. Al-Qahtani’s attorneys claim to have seen a portion of the videotape, but have been prohibited by the government from discussing it.
The center contends it is in the interests of the country that the public see what was done to al-Qahtani, a Saudi citizen captured 11 years ago in Afghanistan.
His abuse included sleep deprivation, 20-hour interrogations, isolation, threats by military dogs, being forced to act like a dog, exposure to extreme temperatures and religious and sexual humiliation, all of which was authorized by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.
The U.S. military commission responsible for trying detainees ruled in 2007 that the charges against al-Qahtani—which included being part of the September 11, 2001, plot—should be dropped because of his mistreatment. He is the only terrorism-related prisoner that the government has admitted torturing.
Despite the dismissal of charges, the Obama administration has insisted on keeping al-Qahtani in prison indefinitely.
Sandra Babcock, a lawyer from the Center for International Human Rights at Northwestern Law School and part of the CCR legal team, says Qahtani is now a “broken man” as a result of his torture and “will possibly never recover from the psychological and physical effects” of what happened to him.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Group Seeks Release of U.S. Torture Tapes (by Adam Klasfeld, Courthouse News Service)

Guantánamo Judge Confirms Use of Torture (AllGov) 


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