For Immediate Release
Secret Interrogation Tapes Should Be Public, Attorneys Argue
Tapes May Cast Light on Torture of Guantanamo Prisoner
NEW YORK - Today, in a case filed on behalf of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), attorneys argued that video recordings of CCR client Mohammed al Qahtani at Guantanamo Bay should be released to the public under the Freedom of Information Act. The government possesses tapes of al Qahtani made when he was in solitary confinement immediately prior to a period, detailed in a log published by Time Magazine in 2006, in which al Qahtani was systematically tortured. He is the only Guantanamo prisoner whom the U.S. government has explicitly acknowledged torturing. Al Qahtani’s attorneys at CCR have viewed the tapes, but are prohibited from discussing their contents, including confirming or denying whether they contain footage of abuse.
“Without access to documentation of abuses such as the torture of Mr. al Qahtani, the public is deprived of its best mechanism for holding officials accountable and its most powerful impetus to change policies. The government has already destroyed hundreds of hours of videotape depicting harsh interrogations of prisoners by the CIA, for the express purpose of avoiding public scrutiny. Release of al Qahtani’s tapes will provide a unique opportunity for accountability—one that was lost when those other tapes were destroyed.” said CCR Senior Staff Attorney Shayana Kadidal, referring to an order by Jose A. Rodriguez Jr., former head of the C.I.A.’s clandestine service, to destroy 92 video tapes of interrogations at CIA black sites.
Our pandemic coverage is free to all. As is all of our reporting.
No paywalls. No advertising. No corporate sponsors. Since the coronavirus pandemic broke out, traffic to the Common Dreams website has gone through the roof— at times overwhelming and crashing our servers. Common Dreams is a news outlet for everyone and that’s why we have never made our readers pay for the news and never will. But if you can, please support our essential reporting today. Without Your Support We Won't Exist.
Please select a donation method:
The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.