US government officials have blocked the release of 116 pages of defence lawyers’ notes detailing the torture of Guantanamo Bay detainee Abu Zubaydah while in CIA custody, defence lawyers said. The treatment of Zubaydah, who lost one eye and was waterboarded 83 times in a single month while held by the CIA, according to government documents, has been the focus of speculation for years.
“We submitted 116 pages in 10 separate submissions,” Joe Margulies, Zubaydah’s lead defence lawyer said. “The government declared all of it classified.”
Margulies and lawyers for other detainees said that the decision showed that the Obama administration plans to continue declaring detainees’ accounts of their own torture classified. A Central Intelligence Agency spokesperson declined to comment.
After the release of a US Senate report on CIA torture in December, the government loosened its classification rules and released 27 pages of interview notes compiled by lawyers for detainee Majid Khan in which he described his torture.