News organizations including NPR protest closure of hearing at Guantanamo Bay

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NPR is one of 10 news organizations that filed an objection Thursday (April 5) to plans by the Pentagon to close a hearing next week on alleged mistreatment of a detainee by the CIA.

The Miami Herald, one of the signatories to the 15-page letter, posted the document online.

The objection focuses on the case of Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, allegedly involved in the 2000 attack on the USS Cole that killed 17 U.S. sailors. In a hearing set for April 11 at the U.S. military detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, al-Nashiri’s attorneys plan to argue that he shouldn’t be shackled while interviewed because it would remind him of trauma he experienced while in CIA custody. The military court has closed the hearing, citing national security reasons. The news organizations contend they should be able to view al-Nashiri’s testimony because details of his treatment have already been made public, and the military has ways to protect sensitive information.

“Failure to adopt and employ such readily available less restrictive means would not only violate the Constitution of the United States, it could undermine the credibility of, and public trust in, the proceedings of this military commission,” concluded the letter.