At a Glance
CCR, AIUSA and WSLS filed FOIA requests with government agencies seeking the release of records related to the evaluations or authorizations of secret detention and transfer, policies and procedures for such programs, the identities of individuals detained or transferred and the locations of their detention or transfer, the activities of private contractors and non-governmental actors, and injuries and treatment of individuals detained or transferred.
Secret prisons and extraordinary rendition hold people outside the law, without contact with lawyers, family members, or the outside world. Reports of torture, abuse, and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment are common, and these detainees have no recourse for the abuses that they have suffered. Please see our fact sheet on Ghost Detention.
Despite the fact that the government has acknowledged the existence of the program, these agencies have continued to withhold documents that are responsive to the FOIA requests.
The suit raises several causes of action for violation of the FOIA, including failure to expedite processing of their requests, failure to make the records sought promptly available, failure to timely respond to their requests, failure to release records, failure to allow fee waiver, and the improper withholding of agency records. The suit seeks immediate and expedited processing and release of the records requested.
CCR has two related cases. CCR represents Maher Arar, a Canadian victim of the U.S. program of extraordinary rendition who was tortured in Syria for nearly a year. CCR also represents Majid Khan, a former resident of Baltimore, Maryland, who was detained in secret for years before being transferred to Guantánamo Bay.