12:46 GMT +322 September 2019
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    An American Flag is seen through razor wire at Camp VI in Camp Delta where detainees are housed at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay in Cuba

    US Government Blocks Release of CIA Torture Details

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    The US government blocked the release of 116 pages of notes detailing the torture a Guantanamo Bay detainee says he endured while in CIA custody, defense lawyers said on Thursday.

    Abu Zubaydah lost one eye and was waterboarded 83 times in a single month while being held by the CIA, according to government documents.

    "We submitted 116 pages in 10 separate submissions. The government declared all of it classified,” Zubaydah's lawyer, Joe Margulies, told Reuters.

    After the release of a US Senate report on CIA torture in December, the government released 27 pages of interview notes compiled by lawyers for Guantanamo detainee Majid Khan in which he described his torture.

    Khan said interrogators poured ice water on his genitals, videotaped him naked and repeatedly touched his "private parts" – details which were not described in the Senate report.

    "The CIA has apparently changed its mind about allowing detainees to talk about their torture," Wells Dixon, Khan's lawyer, told Reuters.

    Senator Dianne Feinstein, then the chair of the Intelligence Committee, released the report's 480-page executive summary, over objections from CIA and White House officials.

    A month after the report's release, in January 2015, the government said it had issued new classification rules that permitted only the release of "general allegations of torture," and "information regarding the conditions of confinement."

    But, they said, the names of CIA employees and locations of secret CIA "black sites" could not be released.

    Margulies said the 116 pages of notes were limited to Zubayda's description of his torture and did not include prohibited information. Margulies accused the CIA of trying "guarantee that Abu Zubaydah never discloses what was done to him," Reuters reported.

    Zubaydah, a 44-year-old Saudi national, has been held in Guantanamo for nine years and has not been charged with a crime.

    Tags:
    torture report, torture, Senate Intelligence Committee, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Abu Zubaydah, Dianne Feinstein, Guantanamo, United States
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