The U.S. detention camp at Guantanamo Bay (file photo) (AFP)
24 February 2006 -- A federal judge in the United States has ordered the U.S. Defense Department to release the identities of hundreds of detainees at Guantanamo Bay by 3 March.
U.S. authorities are currently holding about 500 prisoners at Guantanamo on suspicion of links to Al-Qaeda or the Taliban. Most have been held without charge, prompting complaints from human rights groups. Only a handful have been officially identified. The Associated Press filed a lawsuit to have the names made public.
Judge Jed Rakoff ordered the Pentagon to release uncensored transcripts of detainee hearings. The transcripts contain the names of detainees in custody and those who have been held and later released.
Rakoff rejected government arguments that detainees' names should be kept secret to protect their privacy and their families, friends, and associates from embarrassment or retaliation.