Wednesday, September 27, 2023
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U.S. Ordered to Produce Detainee Abuse Evidence

(CN) - A federal judge in Washington, D.C., ordered the government to produce evidence of alleged prisoner abuse and torture in response to a Guantanamo detainee's bid for release.

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth partially granted prisoner Ahmad Mohammad Al Darbi's requests for possible exculpatory evidence that might aid his habeas petition.

Lamberth said the government must reveal interrogation techniques used against the prisoner before it could use his statements against him. "Respondents, however, do not have to produce interrogation techniques that do not evidence abuse, torture, coercion, or duress," he wrote.

The government was also ordered to produce evidence related to Al Darbi's alleged physical and psychological torture and abuse at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan. It must also disclose any evidence that Al Darbi denied the accusations against him, primarily that he was an enemy combatant.

The judge denied Al Darbi's remaining requests for evidence, because the government had already agreed to search for evidence that its witnesses against Al Darbi were physically or psychologically coerced.

Judge Lamberth also denied Al Darbi's requests for evidence that didn't mention him by name and requests for unredacted copies of classified documents that only contained "source-identifying and internal administrative information that is not exculpatory in nature," according to the ruling.

And the government doesn't have to show evidence that it pressured Al Darbi to testify against other individuals. That request is irrelevant, the judge ruled, because the issue is whether Al Darbi is part of the Taliban, al Qaida or associated enemy forces.

"Should respondents fail to either produce evidence of coercion or deny petitioner's allegations of abuse, respondents will not be allowed to use any of petitioner's statements in the merits of this litigation," Lamberth wrote.

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