WikiLeaks releases tranche of US detention policies

The WikiLeaks website began publishing on Thursday what it said were more than 100 US Defence Department files detailing military detention policies in camps in Iraq and at Guantanamo Bay in the years after the 9/11 attacks.

In a statement, WikiLeaks criticised regulations, it said, had led to abuse and impunity and urged human rights activists to use the documents to research what it called policies of unaccountability.

The statement quoted WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as saying: "The 'Detainee Policies' show the anatomy of the beast that is post-9/11 detention, the carving out of a dark space where law and rights do not apply, where persons can be detained without a trace at the convenience of the US Department of Defence." It shows the excesses of the early days of war against an unknown 'enemy' and how these policies matured and evolved, ultimately deriving into the permanent state of exception that the US now finds itself in.

A US Embassy spokeswoman in London said they had no immediate comment.

WikiLeaks said a number of documents it was releasing related to interrogation of detainees, and these showed direct physical violence was prohibited. But it added, "The documents showed a formal policy of terrorising detainees during interrogations, combined with a policy of destroying interrogation recordings, has led to abuse and impunity."

"One such document was a 2005 document Policy on Assigning Detainee Internment Serial Numbers," it said. "It is concerned with discreetly 'disappearing' detainees into the custody of other US agencies while keeping their names out of US military records," the WikiLeaks statement said.

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