Guantanamo detainee art show denied


The Associated Press

NEW YORK — A man accused of helping to plan the Sept. 11 attacks will not be allowed to publicly distribute art he makes in his cell at the Guantanamo Bay detention center after a judge denied a motion asking for Department of Defense restrictions to be lifted, one of his attorneys said on Monday.

The ruling by a military commission judge came down on Friday, said attorney Alka Pradhan, who represents Ammar al Baluchi. The decision has not been posted publicly since it is still going through a review process.

Al Baluchi’s attorneys had filed the motion in April, saying his rights were being violated because of the restrictions.

The Department of Defense had put new restrictions in place after a New York City exhibition of detainee art went on display last year, including two pieces from al Baluchi.

A Pentagon spokeswoman, Navy Cmdr. Sarah Higgins, declined comment on Monday since the decision is in review. At the time the motion was filed, she said items produced by detainees at Guantanamo Bay “remain the property of the U.S. government.”

Al Baluchi is a nephew of suspected 9/11 mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. U.S. military prosecutors accuse him of being involved in the planning, including financial transactions, that led to some of the Sept. 11 hijackers being in the U.S.

The defense says there is no proof of his handling any transaction or that he knew of any intent to attack the U.S.

Al Baluchi was interrogated by the CIA after he was captured in Pakistan in 2003 and before his transfer to Guantanamo Bay. His trial has yet to be scheduled.

One of al Baluchi’s art pieces is “Vertigo at Guantanamo,” a series of multicolored dots in a pattern that evokes a tornado. Pradhan said it is a reference to vertigo al Baluchi experiences as a result of CIA torture.

Some family members of those killed on 9/11 reacted with anger to the exhibition.

By Josh Bovee

Leave a Reply