By Umar Farooq
WASHINGTON (AA) – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a lawsuit against the CIA Thursday over the torture and death of a suspected militant, calling on the agency to disclose the whereabouts of his body.
Gul Rahman, an Afghan refugee who was living in Peshawar, Pakistan, was last seen by his family 16 years ago before being taken by the CIA to a clandestine prison known as the Salt Pit near Kabul, Afghanistan.
It was there that Rahman faced weeks of torture, including physical abuse, sleep deprivation and exposure to extreme cold. On Nov. 20, 2002, Rahman was found dead after being restrained overnight in freezing cold conditions. A CIA report concluded that he had died of hypothermia.
However, Rahman's family did not find out about his death until 2014, when the CIA declassified an executive summary of a report titled the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Study of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program, in which it stated that he had died in CIA custody.
Yet the agency has still not disclosed the whereabouts of his body.
"Consequences of CIA torture are not past but present. It tortured an Afghan man to death in 2002. Despite numerous requests from his family, it STILL won't say where his body is. His family wants a proper funeral, some measure of closure. Basic decency," Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU’s National Security Project, said on Twitter.
The Freedom of Information Act lawsuit calls on the CIA to immediately produce all records of Rahman's death and the whereabouts of his remains.