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US ordered to preserve evidence in terror suspect 'state-sanctioned torture' claim

[JURIST] The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia [official website] granted a motion [PDF text] Tuesday compelling the US government to preserve all evidence of torture against Majid Khan [GlobalSecurity profile], the first "high-value" Guantanamo Bay detainee to be allowed to meet privately with attorneys. Khan, a 27-year-old Pakistani detainee and the only US resident among the 15 high-value detainees [profiles, PDF] at Guantanamo, says he was "subjected to state-sanctioned torture" [JURIST report] in secret overseas CIA prisons after being seized in Pakistan by officials in 2003 due to allegations that he plotted to attack both the United States and Pakistan. The CIA held him in secret custody overseas until his transfer to Guantanamo in September 2006. J. Wells Dixon [advocacy profile] filed the motion last month, and Khan's legal team says preservation of evidence of his torture could help show Khan had no ties to al Qaeda. AP has more.

Wells' statement is not the first allegation of torture made in connection with Khan. In April, Khan's father submitted an affidavit to a Combatant Status Review Tribunal convened to determine whether Khan was an "enemy combatant" [JURIST report]. In the affidavit, he wrote that "the Americans tortured him [Majid] for eight hours at a time, tying him tightly in stressful positions in a chair until his hands, feet and mind went numb." The CIA has denied the accusations and reiterated its position that the US does not torture suspects.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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