- The Washington Times - Monday, March 28, 2016

Detainees held by the CIA after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks were occasionally stripped naked and photographed in the nude before being sent elsewhere to be interrogated, according to a new report.

Although the agency’s intelligence gathering tactics, such as waterboarding, were widely detailed in a controversial report released by a Senate committee in 2014, new accusations involving the use of sexual humiliation on suspected terrorists emerged in an article published on Monday by The Guardian.

CIA officials took nude photographs of detainees shortly before they were transferred out of U.S. custody and sent elsewhere for further interrogation, the U.K. paper said.

The alleged photos are classified and have not been publicly revealed, but The Guardian reported that they depict CIA detainees who have been stripped of their clothes and blindfolded, bound and displaying visible bruises.

Other photos are said to show CIA officials or contractors alongside the detainees, raising questions with respect to what degree the U.S. government rolled back its interrogation tactics in the wake of the Abu Gharib prison abuse scandal that emerged in 2003 and amid President Obama’s ongoing efforts to shutter the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay before his administration ends next January.

One former U.S. official familiar with the photographs described them to The Guardian as “very gruesome,” and others went as far as to suggest the practice of photographing naked detainees may constitute a violation of international law.

“Is the naked photography a form of sexual assault? Yes. It’s a form of sexual humiliation,” Dr. Vincent Iacopino, the medical director of Physicians for Human Rights, told The Guardian.

“Photographing or videotaping detainees in U.S. custody unrelated to the processing of prisoners or the management of detention facilities can constitute a violation of the laws of war, including the Geneva conventions, in some cases,” added Nathaniel Raymond, who researches detainee abuse on behalf of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative.

“Any evidence that the CIA or any other U.S. government agency intentionally photographed naked detainees should be investigated by law enforcement as a potential violation of domestic and international law,” Mr. Raymond added.

The CIA declined to comment when reached by The Guardian, the paper reported.

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