Guantanamo Detainee Sues for Public Release of Torture Tapes
Mohammed al Qahtani, from Saudi Arabia, has been detained at Guantanamo for 10 years. This week the Center for Constitutional Rights filed a lawsuit on his behalf seeking public release of his videotaped abusive interrogations.
Mr. al Qahtani’s treatment – which included a litany of abusive techniques ranging from severe sleep deprivation, 20-hour interrogations, isolation, threats by military dogs, exposure to extreme temperatures and religious and sexual humiliation - was partially detailed in a military interrogation log leaked to Time Magazine on March 2, 2006. As a result of this treatment, the senior U.S. official in charge of military commissions determined that U.S. personnel tortured Mr. al Qahtani. Mr. al Qahtani’s attorneys have viewed some of the tapes but are not allowed to discuss the contents. The lawsuit argues it is crucial for the public interest that the tapes be publicly released.
CCR says is al-Qahtani is a prime example of all that is "abhorrent about Guantanamo.”
As to the lawsuit, brought in the Southern District of New York, the defendants are: the Department of Defense, the Department of Justice, the FBI, and the CIA. CCR says the basis for the suit is it's having filed a FOIA request for the tapes and the defendant's failure to turn them over.
As to al-Qahtani's current status:
CCR had previously released The Torture of Mohammed al-Qahtani. The abuse included:
Mr. al Qahtani was seized in December 2001 and transferred to Guantánamo Bay, Cuba shortly thereafter. Almost seven years later, the Convening Authority for Military Commissions dismissed all charges against al Qahtani because it found he had been tortured, but left open the possibility that he would be re-charged at a later time. To this date, Mr. al Qahtani is still in Guantánamo and no charges have been filed against him.
Forty-eight days of severe sleep deprivation and 20-hour interrogations, forced nudity, sexual humiliation, religious humiliation, physical force, prolonged stress positions and prolonged sensory overstimulation, and threats with military dogs. The aggressive techniques, standing alone and in combination, resulted in severe physical and mental pain and suffering.His interrogation logs are here. His lawyers declarations are here.
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