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Center for Human Rights sues CIA in FOIA dispute

December 3, 2015

On October 2, the University of Washington Center for Human Rights, a center affiliated with the Jackson School, filed a lawsuit against the CIA in the U.S. District Court in Seattle, alleging that the agency has failed to meet its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The UW CHR is seeking the release of U.S. government documents relating to the 1981 Santa Cruz massacre in El Salvador, as part of its mission to conduct research in support of front-line human rights organizations around the world. Earlier this year, the UW CHR released the first comprehensive report on the massacre, as well as an 18-minute documentary featuring survivors and human rights advocates.

“We believe that the CIA is unlawfully withholding documents regarding a commander of the military operation that resulted in the Santa Cruz massacre, as well as files on a U.S. citizen caught up in the operation,” said Angelina Snodgrass Godoy, Director of the UW CHR. Godoy also spoke with KUOW about the suit.

The center was also the focus of media attention when the office of its director, Professor Angelina Godoy, was broken into by unknown parties.

Read more about the suit on the website of the Center for Human Rights.