[Ppnews] Man Held by C.I.A. Says He Was Tortured
Political Prisoner News
ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Dec 10 10:37:53 EST 2007
December 9, 2007
Man Held by C.I.A. Says He Was Tortured
WASHINGTON, Dec. 8 The first of the so-called
detainees to have seen a lawyer claims he was
subjected to state-sanctioned torture while in
prisons, and he has asked for a court order
barring the government from destroying evidence of his treatment.
The request, in a filing by his lawyers, was made
on Nov. 29, before officials from the Central
Intelligence Agency acknowledged that the agency
had destroyed videotapes of interrogations of two
Qaeda that current and former officials said
included the use of harsh techniques.
Lawyers for the detainee, Majid Khan, a former
Baltimore resident, released documents in his
case on Friday. They claim he was subjected to
an aggressive C.I.A. detention and interrogation
program notable for its elaborate planning and
ruthless application of torture to numerous detainees.
The documents also suggest that Mr. Khan, 27, and
other high-value detainees are now being held in
a previously undisclosed area of the Guantánamo
prison in Cuba he called Camp 7.
Those detainees include 14 men, some suspected of
being former Qaeda officials, who President Bush
acknowledged were held in a secret C.I.A.
program. They were transferred to military custody at Guantánamo last year.
Asked about Mr. Khans assertions, Mark
Mansfield, a C.I.A. spokesman, said, the United
States does not conduct or condone torture. He
said a small number of hardened terrorists had
required what he called special methods of
questioning in what he called a lawful and carefully run program.
The documents were heavily redacted by government
security officials, and none of Mr. Khans
specific assertions of torture could be read. One entire page was blacked out.
In addition to the court filing, Mr. Khans
lawyers at the Center for Constitutional Rights
in New York released recently declassified notes
of their first meetings with Mr. Khan, in
October. The notes asserted that he had symptoms
of post-traumatic stress disorder because of his
treatment, including memory problems and frantic
expression. They said he was painfully thin and pale.
A Pentagon spokesman, Cmdr. Jeffrey D. Gordon,
declined to respond to the assertions about Mr.
Khans condition, saying that most detainees at Guantánamo gain weight.
Pentagon officials have said they believe that
Shaikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11
attacks, selected Mr. Khan, who grew up in the
suburbs of Baltimore, to study the feasibility of
blowing up gasoline stations and poisoning
reservoirs in the United States. But he has not been charged with any offenses.
His lawyers said Mr. Khan, while living in
Pakistan, was forcibly disappeared and that he
had admitted anything his interrogators demanded
of him, regardless of the truth.
Lawyers who represent Guantánamo detainees agree
to stringent restrictions that bar them from
disclosing information from their clients until
it is cleared by government security officials.
The notes that were declassified from Mr. Khans
lawyers, Gitanjali S. Gutierrez and J. Wells
Dixon, say he lives in Camp 7 and imply that he
has contact with at least one other high-value
Officials at Guantánamo have not discussed the
existence of a Camp 7. They often say publicly
that the most recent center constructed there is
Camp 6, a modern maximum-security building.
Commander Gordon, citing security concerns,
declined to comment on the indication that there
may be a secret detention unit, and added that
we do not disclose the exact location of detainees within Guantánamo.
The request for an order barring the government
from destroying any evidence of torture was filed
in the United States Court of Appeals for the
District of Columbia Circuit, which is
considering a challenge by Mr. Khan to his detention.
Mr. Khans lawyers claim that there is a
substantial risk that the torture evidence will
disappear. They did not specify what evidence they believe may exist.
An intelligence official speaking on the
condition of anonymity said the C.I.A.s
interrogations of Mr. Khan were not videotaped.
Mr. Dixon, one of Mr. Khans lawyers, said
Saturday that the admission that officials had
destroyed videotapes of interrogations showed why such an order was needed.
They are no longer entitled to a presumption
that the government has acted lawfully or in good faith, Mr. Dixon said.
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