For Immediate Release
PHR is a plaintiff in the American Civil Liberty Union's (ACLU) contempt motion against the CIA being heard today in Federal District Court. The motion was filed after information emerged that the CIA had recorded interrogations of detainees that allegedly included the use of techniques constituting torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment under US law. News reports say that tapes of these interrogations had been destroyed in 2005 prompted the ACLU, PHR and two other groups to file the contempt motion against the CIA because of its failure to disclose the tapes and other evidence in a 2003 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by the ACLU.
PHR, along with the Center for Constitutional Rights, Veterans for Peace and Veterans for Common Sense, are co-sponsor's of the ACLU's 2003 FOIA request for all US government documents related to the Bush Administration's policy authorizing abusive interrogations, including the use of torture. The FOIA request disclosed thousands of documents, the majority being from FBI files, in 2005. The documents helped reveal the extent and severity of the US government's program of psychological and physical abuse and torture that was implemented at Department of Defense sites, including Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and elsewhere.
To date, the CIA has refused to cooperate in any way with the FOIA request filed by the ACLU, PHR and veterans groups. PHR will continue to press for the CIA, the Department of Defense and all other executive branch agencies to fully disclose all documents related to the Bush Administration's program of illegal and abusive interrogation and detainee treatment practices.
Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) is a New York-based advocacy organization that uses science and medicine to prevent mass atrocities and severe human rights violations. Learn more here.