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NGO gains access to Guantanamo documents; 22 new charges laid against soldier accused of providing information to Wikileaks

(RSF/IFEX) - Reporters Without Borders welcomes the release of Department of Defence documents on 2 March 2011 that shed light on former president George W. Bush's administration's policies regarding the Guantanamo Bay detention centre and its views on the "significant risks" to the general population if the centre's detainees were to have been freed. The documents were published in response to a request that the public interest group Judicial Watch filed under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) in May 2009.

"The decision to release these documents reflects the concern for transparency originally displayed by the Obama administration," Reporters Without Borders said. "We hope it will now make a similar decision on the release of photos depicting the abuse of prisoners by US military personnel in Afghanistan and Iraq. The White House's U-turn on FOIA implementation in May 2009 was a bitter blow."

It was also reported on 2 March that the US Army has filed 22 new charges against Bradley Manning, the US army private accused of leaking US diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks. Mannings lawyer, David E. Coombs, said via Twitter that the most serious of the new charges was that of "aiding the enemy - giving intelligence to the enemy," which could potentially result in life behind bars or the death penalty. Other charges, according to "The New York Times", include "wrongfully causing intelligence to be published on the Internet, knowing that it was accessible to the enemy, multiple counts of theft of public records, transmitting defence information and computer fraud."

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Click here for the full press release

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