A group of dozens of leading human rights groups has called on President Obama to release photos depicting the alleged abuse of detainees by U.S. personnel overseas.
The letter signed by the American Civil Liberties Union, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch states that in an open society even embarrassing information is disclosed so that those responsible for wrongdoing can be brought to justice.
"As disturbing as [the photos] may be, it is critical that the American people know the full truth about the abuse that occurred in their name," says Amrit Singh, staff attorney with the ACLU.
"The government’s decision to suppress them is fundamentally
inconsistent with President Obama’s own promise of transparency and accountability," he adds.
After taking office on January 20, Obama signed an executive order to close the Guantanamo Bay detention camp and prohibit the use of torture.
However, last week he announced he would not authorize the release of the photos some say document instances of torture and abuse of terrorist suspects held in detention by the U.S after 9/11.