US ordered to release photos of prison abuse
22 March 2015, Nirapad News: A US federal judge has ruled that Washington must release photographs showing abuse of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This is a longstanding court case on letting the world see potentially disturbing images of how the military treated prisoners.
US District Judge Alvin Hellerstein’s decree on Friday gives the government, which has fought the case for over a decade, two months to decide whether to appeal before the photos could be released.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has been seeking for several years to make them public in the name of holding government accountable.
The Defence Department is studying the ruling and will make any further responses in court, spokesman Myles Caggins III said. ACLU representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday night.
The ACLU has said the pictures “are manifestly important to an ongoing national debate about governmental accountability for the abuse of prisoners”.
Early in the 2004 lawsuit, the ACLU pointed to the Abu Ghraib photos as priority examples of records the organization was seeking on the treatment of detainees. It is unclear how many more photographs may exist.
The government has said it has 29 relevant pictures from at least seven different sites in Afghanistan and Iraq, and it is believed to have perhaps hundreds or thousands more, Hellerstein said in a ruling in August.