Family of CIA 'Salt Pit' Victim: Where Is His Body?

No one's been told what happened to Gul Rahman's remains after he died in Afghan prison in 2002
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2018 9:50 AM CDT
In this undated photo, Gul Rahman is shown.   (AP Photo/Habib Rahman, Ho)

(Newser) – He died "starved, sleepless, and freezing" more than 15 years ago in an Afghan prison cell, and now his family wants to know where his body is. In what an ACLU attorney calls a "failure of basic human decency," the CIA is being accused by relatives of Gul Rahman—who died in November 2002 in the prison known as the "Salt Pit"—of concealing from them where his remains are, keeping his family from "long-needed closure," per the Guardian. The FOIA request filed Wednesday seeks the exact location of Rahman's body, as well as details on how it was handled after his death. The only known info so far came out of a 2015 lawsuit brought by Rahman's family and two survivors of the Salt Pit, which spurred a probe that revealed a CIA autopsy report noting that Rahman likely died of hypothermia and that a freezer had been ordered for his remains.

What happened to his body after that remains unclear. The complaint on behalf of Rahman and the other two terrorism detainees was brought against John Mitchell and James "Bruce" Jessen, for-hire psychologists who were responsible for coming up with the interrogation methods used by the CIA until the program was officially discontinued in 2009 by President Obama. Per Courthouse News, techniques used on Rahman, Suleiman Abdullah Salim, and Mohamed Ahmed Ben Soud included depriving them of sleep, hurling them into walls, making them endure icy-cold showers and waterboarding, and keeping them shackled in a standing or "stress" position for days naked or while wearing diapers. "Where is his gravesite and what happened to him?," Rahman's nephew said in a deposition for the suit. "At least present the dead body to us."

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