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CCR Asks Judge to Compel Bush Administration to Come Clean on Detainees' Deaths

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In First Court Filing Since Three Detainee Deaths at Guantánamo, CCR Files Emergency Motion To Preserve Evidence and Require Documentation of Death

On June 19, 2006 the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and its co-counsel filed an emergency motion on behalf of Salah Ali Abdullah Ahmed Al Salami, a detainee who died in Guantánamo Naval Base, asking the court to force the Bush Administration to provide documentation of his alleged suicide and to preserve all evidence relating to his death, detention, interrogations and treatment.  The motion, which is CCR’s first court filing since the deaths at Guantánamo, also explains the need for an “independent investigation into Al Salami’s alleged suicide” by detailing the administration’s history of incorrectly identifying detainees and concerns that it may “intentionally dispose of relevant evidence.” "We are asking the court to compel the administration to preserve evidence and provide information about our client's death.  After more than a week, the administration has still failed to provide a death certificate, an autopsy report or a pledge to preserve evidence.  If the facts are on their side, why are they hiding them?" said Bill Goodman, CCR Legal Director.

The emergency motion argues that the "immediate preservation of evidence is critical" to answering "disturbing questions" posed by Al Salami's family about his death.  The motion notes that Al Salami's father “disputes the government's account of his son's death."

The emergency motion also cites reports of previous military investigations into detainee abuse that were "prejudiced" because the military failed to interview crucial witnesses, handle evidence properly and preserve all relevant documents. 

The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.