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Wed Oct 23, 2013, 08:41 AM

Guantanamo judge urged to lift ban on claims of abuse (torture)

A "gag order" from the tribunal's judge violates the United Nations Convention Against Torture, the attorneys say.

The five suspected al Qaeda conspirators claim the maltreatment consisted of beatings, sleep deprivation, being subjected to temperature extremes, stress positions and waterboarding, a technique that simulates drowning.

During the administration of George W. Bush, the CIA was authorized to use what were called "enhanced interrogation techniques." When President Barack Obama took office, he forbade use of the techniques, referring to them as torture.

"If you really want to have a fair trial, you have to ungag them," Bormann said.

Torture Treaty Rights Sought in Guantanamo Trial

The five men facing trial by military commission were subjected to treatment that their lawyers say amounted to torture before they were taken to Guantanamo in September 2006. They may want to pursue some form of international complaint against the U.S. government, but can't do so because they and their lawyers aren't allowed to even discuss with anyone what happened to them in CIA custody.

Army Maj. Jason Wright, a military-appointed lawyer for lead defendant Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, said the judge should either provide a mechanism to pursue a claim either through his native Pakistan, the United Nations or another country or dismiss the charges.

"You cannot use state secrets to classify the observations and secrets of someone who was subjected to torture," he said.

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