U.S. ordered to provide data on detainees

August 19, 2004|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

NEW YORK - A federal judge in Manhattan has ordered the government to release information on the treatment of detainees at military bases or other facilities overseas, including official policies and records sought by the American Civil Liberties Union under the Freedom of Information Act.

The judge, Alvin K. Hellerstein of U.S. District Court in Manhattan, signed the order Tuesday. It was made public yesterday and was hailed as a victory by the ACLU, which originally sought the information last October.

In June the organization and other civil liberties groups filed suit against the Defense Department, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, among others, demanding the information.

Hellerstein gave the government until next Monday to release about 70 documents. It also must produce a log with explanations for documents that it claims are exempt from release, that cannot be found or that will be produced after the deadline.

The civil liberties groups say there are hundreds of other papers that probably fit within the scope of the request.

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