Human Rights Groups Assail Obama Administration for Lack of Transparency

Three human rights groups today lashed out at the Obama administration for refusing to confirm or deny the existence of documents related to the treatment of detainees, saying the Obama administration's "persistent secrecy becomes more inexcusable by the day."

"The Obama administration should provide the countless individuals who were disappeared ... with the basic dignity they have long been denied, starting with an acknowledgment that the U.S. abducted and imprisoned them secretly, without explanation, and without any recourse to justice," said the leaders of Amnesty International, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice at NYU School of Law in a statement.

The groups were seeking to obtain under the Freedom of Information Act documents from the U.S. government to the Yemeni government about detainees Mohamed Bashmilah and Salah Nasser Salim Ali ; and cables discussing use of sleep deprivation and "enhanced interrogation techniques" used on Abu Zubaydah and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed .

The groups said the Obama administration's "lack of transparency continues to prevent scrutiny by the public and the courts, leaving detainees vulnerable to abuse and torture."

Neither the White House nor CIA had immediate comment.

- jpt

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