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The Guantánamo Testimonials Project: A Theatrical Performance

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1. THE FREQUENT FLIER PROGRAM (SLEEP DEPRIVATION)

2. THE CHAIR AND THE EYEBOLT (POSITIONAL TORTURE)

3. THE ANTS ARE MY FRIENDS (SOLITARY CONFINEMENT)

4. THE MAGIC MARKER INCIDENT (SEXUAL/RELIGIOUS ABUSE)

5. PROVIDING NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTATION (FORCE FEEDING)

6. OUT FOR DRINKS AT THE WINDJAMMER BAR (IMPUNITY)

7. HANGING GESTURES (SUICIDE ATTEMPTS)


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History is being made with the Interrogations Operations taking place at Guantanamo Bay [REDACTED] Operationally, it breaks new ground. The Command [REDACTED] Analysts, Service and Support elements, and Military Police are daily being asked not just to do the jobs they were trained for, but to radically create new methods and methodologies that are needed to complete this mission in defense of our nation. Reserve and Active components of all service branches are working this mission, along with numerous civilian and federal law enforcement agencies. This is a unique opportunity to work with other agencies, to enhance your [REDACTED] and most importantly, to serve in defense of your country. There is much you will be asked to do which is not in any of your prior training. There are legal, political, strategic and moral issues that influence and affect how operations are conducted in this vital part of Operation Enduring Freedom. You must be aware that your activities and actions are often directed by or reported to the highest levels of government. Also, agencies such as the International Committee of the Red Cross (IRC), foreign delegations, and the world media keenly watch how this operation is conducted and how [REDACTED] are handled. It is vital to JTF-GTMO that all Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Civilians conduct themselves in a manner that reflects well on the legal principles America is founded upon (Introduction, Standard Operating Procedures, Joint Intelligence Group, Joint Task Force Guantanamo, 21 January 2003, Revised 12 June 2003, Revised 26 July 2004. Source: DODJUNE 795).

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1. THE FREQUENT FLIER PROGRAM (SLEEP DEPRIVATION)


  • (SF7) Finding #6: During 2003 and 2004 some detainees were subjected to cell moves every few hours to disrupt sleep patterns and lower the ability to resist interrogation. Each case differed as to length and frequency of the cell moves […] one FBI agent alleged sleep deprivation; his complaint was that an individual was subjected to 16 hours of interrogation followed by four-hour breaks. He says he was told about these sessions by DoD interrogators and they implied that these 16 hour interrogations were repeated on a 20 hour cycle, but he did not know for certain what in fact occurred […] [a review of the interrogation records] indicated that some interrogators recommended detainees for the “frequent flyer program.” A current GTMO interrogation analyst indicated that this was a program in effect throughout 2003 and untilMarch 2004 to move detainees every few hours from one cell to another to disrupt their sleep. Documentation on one detainee indicated that he was subjected to this practice as recently as March 2004 (Schmidt and Furlow 2005, 10f)
  • Earlier this year, a former interrogator at Guantánamo, whose statement to a lawyer was obtained by The New Yorker, said that he had refused to use more “assertive” methods on the detainees, and had incurred the anger of his superiors. Extensive records of interrogations were meticulously kept, he said, in what were called “knowledgeability briefs,” copies of which were sent to officials at the Pentagon. The former interrogator said that BSCT psychologists were heavily involved in drawing up and monitoring interrogation plans, which were designed individually for each detainee. At least one of the BSCT scientists he worked with, he said, was a medical doctor. Sleep deprivation was such a common technique, he said, that the interrogators called the process of moving detainees every hour or two from one cell to another “the frequent-flier program.” (Jane Meyer, "The Experiment", New Yorker Magazine, 11 and 18 July 2005).
  • "Then, in January 2002, I was transferred to Guantanamo. I was beaten up on the bus that was taking us to the camp. We were treated differently depending on whether or not we responded to questions. Those who did not `cooperate' were awakened every hour with the aim of preventing them from sleeping at all costs. They might put us in a room with the music very loud broadcast through large speakers or make us endure flashes of light for several hours at a time. Sometimes, they left us handcuffed for hours to a chair or then they turned down the air conditioning. The humiliations were numerous, in particular of a sexual nature. The Americans had prostitutes come into the camp. One of them planted herself in front of a Saudi—they were in the majority at Guantanamo—and smeared her menstrual blood on his face. The searches were constant and humiliating. They tied the Koran above us and took pleasure in batting it around (Azziz Zemouri, "I met Osama Bin Laden," Le Figaro.fr, February 14, 2006).

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2. THE CHAIR AND THE EYE-BOLT (POSITIONAL TORTURE)

FROM TESTIMONIES OF FBI AGENTS:


  • (FBI044) From [REDACTED] (IR)(FBI) | Sent Monday August 2 2004 2 40 PM | To (INSD) (FBI) | Subject RE GTMO | I was situated in the observation booth in between two interview rooms, observing an interview which included at least one FBI SA, and possibly a colleague of his from one of the other agencies with investigative personnel assigned there at the time The booth was quite crowded because there were several individuals present who were observing an “interview” in the room on the other side of the booth In that room, the detainee was seated in a chair and was secured in the same method as I’d seen for all of the other detainees, shackled at his feet so that he could not leave the room However, there wasn’t much talking going on, because the lights had been turned off and a strobe light was flickering on and off, and loud rock music was being played I estimate that this went on for 30 to 60 minutes I was told by quite a few FBI personnel that tactics such as this were quite common there at the time This was the only such event that I observed directly (DOJFBI 002036 or DOJFBI 2942).


  • (FBI108) From: [REDACTED] (IP)(FBI) | Sent: Friday, July 09, 2004 5:19PM | To: [REDACTED] (INSD)(FBI) | […] | Subject: GTMO Detainee Treatment | I was TDY in Guantanamo from February 10 to March 27, 2003. While there, I heard through the usual rumor mill (other agents, military counterparts) about a technique used by military interrogators which was not allowed to be used by Agents. The technique was to leave a detainee shackled in an interrogation room for an extended period of time, twelve hours or more, and either turn the air conditioner to its lowest possible temperature or off. Supposedly, the detainees were not removed from the rooms even to relieve themselves. This was only used for the difficult detainees who would not cooperate. | One day while I was in one of the interrogation buildings, I was in one of the observation rooms which looked into two interrogation rooms. I was in this room because the detainee I was interviewing was in one of the interrogation room [sic] observed from this room. Laying [sic] on the floor of the other interrogation room was a detainee. I believe this detainee was subject to the above mentioned extended stay in the interrogation room. | The detainee did not appeared distressed. The detainee may possibly have been asleep. He was dressed in the normal detainee jumpsuit. His leg shackles were attached to the I-bolt in the center of the interrogation room floor as per SOP [= Standard Operating Procedure]. I do not recall if the detainee was or was not wearing handcuffs. I do not recall observing any furniture in the room on which the detainee could sit. The detainee did not appear to have soiled himself and I did not observe any fluid around the detainee. | I do not know how long the detainee was in the room prior to my viewing him or how long he remained there after I saw him. I do not know what the temperature of the interrogation room was or if the air conditioning was on or off […] My full bureau name is: [REDACTED] | Position: Special Agent (Responses, Part III, 181).


  • (FBI113) From [REDACTED] (KX)(FBI) | Sent: Tuesday, July 13, 2004 9:28 AM | To: [REDACTED] (INSD) (FBI) | Subject: GTMO | I worked at GTMO from June through August of 2002. During that period I observed one incident in an interrogation room which was contrary to Bureau interview policy / guidelines. I observed a detainee in a darkened interrogation room shackled to the bolt on the floor in a kneeling position. The room was completely dark and there was a flashing strobe light placed in front of the detainee and a stereo was playing loud music in the room. I observed a male interrogator outside the room during the time frame that I observed this activity. The interrogator was wearing a BDU uniform with no unit patches or name tags on the uniform so I have no idea what agency he worked for; however, I never observed any FBI personel [sic] involved in this interrogation that I described (Responses, Part IV, 212).


  • (FBI114) From [REDACTED] (SE)(FBI) | Sent: Sunday, July 11, 2004 3:29 PM | To: [REDACTED] (INSD) (FBI) | Subject: GTMO | I am responding via e-mail because I was aware of a practice of interrogating detainees which I did not feel was appropriate. During my short TDY at GTMO in July 2002, I took part in some discussions about a practice which had been utilized in which the detainee would be placed in the interview room approximately 6-8 hours prior to the scheduled interview. The air conditioning in the room would be turned down to as low as 55 degrees. It was common practice to have the detainees restricted from movement with handcuffs, legcuffs, and a chain bolted to the floor, which would prevent them from moving around the room, which in this case would prevent them from adjusting the air conditioning temperature. | My interview team did not participate in this practice, but I vaguely recall seeing detainees in rooms by themselves in conditions which I believed included uncomfortably cold environments. There were occasions when our interview team would show up for an interview and the temperature in the room was uncomfortably cold. However, the detainee was rarely in the room for any length of time before the interview and we would immediately turn the air conditioning temperature to a comfortable level. I brought the topic up to the Marine Corps JAG assigned to us and they actually began to discourage this practice, not necessarily because of my efforts, but others that agreed with my veiws [sic] as well (Responses, Part IV, 213).

FROM TESTIMONIES OF LAWYERS (JOSEPH MARGULIES):


  • (HS1) GLASS: So here’s how a lawyer meets with his client, when his client is a prisoner at Guantanamo. There’s a little hut, with a metal table. MARGULIES: He’s brought out of the box, and shackled to an I-bolt in the floor, uh, with his back to the door. He is forbidden to face the natural light. GLASS: Joe Margulies of the University of Chicago represents a few detainees at Guantanamo and he says that to understand that thing about the natural light, you have to understand that the detention facilities at Guantanamo were designed to be the perfect interrogation chambers. And so anything the prisoner wants, including sunlight, he’s only going to get with the permission of his interrogators, as a reward for cooperating. And anything can be used that way.


  • (HS6) On a different day, we chained him to the floor and cut off his clothes while a female MP entered the room. We dripped what we said was menstrual blood on his body. When he spat at us, we smeared this blood on his face. We kissed the cross around our neck and said "This is a gift from Christ for you Muslims." We videotaped the entire episode. There’s no way to confirm that all this happened to Al Dossari. But other prisoners and officials at Guantanamo have described variations of every technique on the list, including the menstrual blood, the Israeli flag, the references to Christianity, the beatings, the sexual humiliation. [Al Dossari is interrogated still, about once a month. During one visit last winter, he asked Colangelo-Bryan, "What can I do to keep myself from going crazy?" A few months later, during a meeting, Al Dossari asked to go to the bathroom. Colangelo-Bryan and the MP stepped outside the hut and waited. After five minutes, Colangelo-Bryan got concerned. He cracked the door open.] COLANGELO-BRYAN: When I opened the door, the first thing I saw was a pool of blood on the floor in front of me. I then looked up and saw a figure – hanging. I yelled to the MPs for help. They then began to cut down the noose around Jumah’s neck. HITT: It wasn’t Al Dossari’s first suicide attempt. COLANGELO-BRYAN: About three weeks later, I was back in Guantanamo. Jumah said to me that he didn’t want to kill himself without an outside witness. His fear was that if he died, and only the military knew, nobody would’ve known what happened

FROM TESTIMONY OF A CHAPLAIN:


  • (Y20) Detainees also complained that they were chained to the metal rings in the floors of the trailers where interrogations took place, often for several hours. A translator told me that detainees could be chained in a way that forced them to hunch over, not able to stand up and not able to sit comfortably (Yee 2005, 76).


FROM TESTIMONY OF A TRANSLATOR:


  • (ES9) The man in shackles was already waiting for us in the interrogation booth, a bare room with a couple of folding chairs and a D ring on the linoleum floor […] The air-conditioning was turned up too high. The captive’s ankle chains had been shortened and attached to the ring so there was no play in his feet, and a short chain connected his handcuffs to the ring as well. The arrangement forced him to hunch over, partially squatting. He appeared to have been there a while (Saar and Novak 2005, 172).


  • (ES10) “Mo, I can help you if you will only cooperate.” Mohammed spoke, only to say, “Your guards have no respect for Islam. I have no reason to talk to you.” “We need to move past that, Mohammed,” Mike said. “I need you to cooperate with me. Did you know Fareed Mahmoud?” Silence. We played that game for about a half an hour, with Mohammed hunched over in his orange suit, shackled to the floor and staring at the wall (Saar and Novak 2005, 181).


  • (ES30) Mo had heard a lot about these trips [= round-trip flights from Guantanamo to Afghanistan to pick up captured terrorist suspects of high enough interest to send to Guantanamo], and he said they were extremely intense. “Every single aspect of the mission is meant to intimidate the detainees,” he told me. “Even the linguists are supposed to treat the detainees like shit and get them scared out of their minds.” Not long before my arrival, an air force linguist who had gone on one of the missions took photos, which found their way onto television. The bound captives wore dark goggles, headphones, and paper masks like those used by health care workers. During portions of the transfer, they were hooded, and they were laced down to the floor of the C-130 with black straps for the more than twenty hour flight. Some thought they were being sent to their deaths, and nobody disabused them of that notion. They were screamed at constantly during the trip. On the ground in Cuba, they were immediately thrown into interrogation booths for sessions that could last up to two days (Saar and Novak 2005, 117f).


  • (ES39) The detainee [a young Saudi named Fareek] had already been in the booth, alone and in chains, for an hour; she [female Army interrogator ‘Brooke’] told me to grab some coffee because she’d decided to make him sit for another hour […] “I believe the problem here is that its too easy for him to regain strength when he returns to his cell,” Brooke noted. “We’ve gotta find a way to break that, and I’m thinking that humiliation may be the way to go. I just need to make him feel that he absolutely must cooperate with me and has no other options. I think we should make him feel so fucking dirty that he can’t go back to his cell and spend the night praying. We have to put a barrier between him and his God” | We opened the door to the booth and saw the Saudi, who was wearing ankle shackles and handcuffs with an additional chain connecting all his restraints to the D ring in the floor. The chain was again intentionally made too short, forcing him to hunch over in the thoroughly uncomfortable position that I’d seen quite often by that time. Two MPs were with him. The air-conditioning was turned way up […] Brooke said, “Erik, I’m going to work on making him feel like he can’t pray.” | We returned to the booth. Brooke and I were both in our sanitized (our names were taped over) BDUs. To my surprise, she started to unbutton her top slowly, teasingly, almost like a stripper, revealing a skin-tight brown Army T-shirt stretching over her chest. | Fareek wouldn’t look at her. “What is the matter, Fareek? Don’t you like women?” As she said this, she stood in front of him and tried to make him look at her body. She walked slowly behind him and began rubbing her breasts against his back. “Do you like these big American tits, Fareek?” she said. “I can see that you are starting to get hard. How do you think Allah feels about that?” The detainee was visibly bothered but still didn’t speak. She moved in front of him and took a seat. “What do you think, Fareek?” she said, placing her hands on her breasts. “Don’t you like these big tits?” He glanced, saw what she was doing, and immediately looked away. | “Are you gay? Why do you keep looking at him?” Brooke asked, referring to me. “He thinks I have great tits! Don’t you?” Caught off guard, I just nodded as I kept translating, which had gotten uncomfortable enough for me; I didn’t want to be drawn in further. “This is all your choice, Fareek, we can go on like this all night or you can start to answer my questions,” she said. “Who sent you to flight school?” […] | She [= Adel] had high-priority uncooperative detainee, she explained, and she wanted to find a way to break him from his reliance on God, his source of strength. He suggested that she tell the Saudi that she was having her period and then touch him. That could make him feel too dirty and ashamed to go before God later, he said, adding that she should have the MPs turn off his water so he couldn’t wash later. | I thought it was odd that a devout Muslim would suggest this treatment for a fellow believer, but Brooke seized Adel’s idea and built on it. She grabbed a red marker and disappeared into the ladies’ room. “Let’s go,” she said when she returned […] We sat across from the detainee […] “How do you [Fareek] think he feels about your being attracted to this infidel American woman?” |As she said this, she stood and moved her chair out of the way. She started unbuttoning her BDU pants. “Fareek, did you know that I’m having my period?” she said. She placed her hands in her pants as she started to circle behind the detainee. “How do you feel about me touching you now?” | Fareek’s spine shot straight as a steel rod. As I translated, he looked at me as if my death was his most profound desire. | Brooke came back around his other side, and he could see that she was beginning to withdraw her hand from her pants. As it became visible, the Saudi saw what looked like red blood on her hand. “Who told you to learn to fly, Fareek?” she demanded. He glared at her with vengeance, refusing to give in. “You fuck,” she hissed, wiping what he believed was menstrual blood on his face […] Fareek was screaming at the top of his lungs, rattling the flimsy trailer, body shaking, beginning to sob. He kept yanking his arms apart, as if he could somehow wrest himself out of his handcuffs. | “How do you like this?” she asked, holding open the palm of her hand to show him her blood. | […] The MPs rushed into the room and Brooke said to the lower-ranking one, “Fix the fucking shackles, leave him lying on the floor, and get the fuck out!” […] Brooke got down to her knees next to him. I followed suit. “It doesn’t have to be this way,” she said. “You have choices, Fareek. Who sent you to flight school?” He began to cry like a baby, sobbing and mumbling in Arabic too indistinct for me to understand. The only thing I picked out was, “You American whore.” |“What do you think your brothers will think of you in the morning when they see an American woman’s menstrual blood on your face?” Brooke said, standing up. “By the way, we’ve shut off the water to your cell for tonight, so the blood will still be there tomorrow,” she tossed out as we left the booth. There was no honor in what we had just done […] There wasn’t enough hot water in all of Cuba to make me feel clean (Saar and Novak 2005, 221-229).

FROM TESTIMONIES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE:


  • (SF9) Finding #8: On at least two occasions between February 2002 and February 2003, two detainees were “short shackled” to the eye-bolt on the floor of the interrogation room […] Short shackling is the process by which the detainee’s hand restraints are connected directly to an eyebolt in the floor requiring the detainee to either crouch very low or lay in a fetal position on the floor. (Schmidt and Furlow 2005, 12).


FROM TESTIMONIES OF THE PRISONERS (RHUHEL AHMED, ASIF IQBAL, SHAFIQ RASUL):


  • (T88) In the interrogation booths, used after the tent, there was a table in the middle, often screwed to the floor. There was also a chair on which the detainees were ordered to sit and in front of this chair there was a metal hoop screwed into the ground. When they were walked into the interrogation room, they had to sit down and then their leg shackles were in turn attached to this hoop using a huge padlock. This is described as being 'long shackled' (Rasul et al. 2004, paragraph 88).


  • (T226) After three days I was taken to "the Brown building". I was long shackled and sat in a chair. I was left in a room and strobe lighting was put on and very loud music. It was a dance version of Eminem played repeatedly again and again. I was left in the room with the strobe lighting and loud music for about an hour before I was taken back to my cell. Nobody questioned me (Rasul et al. 2004, paragraph 226).


  • (T261) "From approximately July 2002 MI5 officers interrogated us without American interrogators or guards present in the room. We were in exactly the same physical circumstances of interrogation as when the Americans interrogated us, sitting on a plastic chair shackled to the floor. We complained to MI5 as well as the Foreign Office about all the things that were being done to us in Guantanamo Bay. You couldn't tell the difference between the MI5 and the Foreign Office. Neither was interested in us other than to get information we didn't have. The last three interrogations Asif did not talk to them at all. When we saw the Foreign Office we were chained in exactly the same way as when we were being interrogated." (Rasul et al. 2004, paragraph 261).

FROM TESTIMONIES OF INTERROGATORS (FORMER OPERATIONS OFFICER):


  • I am not aware of short shackling being used in an interrogation. The detainee might be left in the booth for an extended period of time after interrogations awaiting MPs. The short chain was done as a control measure. The chain was close to the floor. The detainee was chained with his wrist close to the floor. The interrogator would ask the MPs to put the detainee in that position. Where I saw that, I can't remember if a chair was in the room. As far as I know, everything was in the boundaries (Declassified Enclosures of The Schmidt-Furlow Report, 846).


FROM TESTIMONIES OF THE PRISONERS (ABU BAKR QASIM, ADEL ABDULHEHIM, AHMED ADIL, AKHDAR QASEM BASIT, HAJI MOHAMMED AYUB):


  • Ayub, emaciated and worn down from months in solitary confinement, was suspicious. He was taken to a small room and told to sit on a white plastic chair. The chairman of the tribunal entered the room and sat down on a slightly raised, black leather chair in front of Ayub, whose feet were chained to a bolt set into the floor (Hauke Goos, "Escape to Hell: Fleeing China, Landing in Guantanamo,"Spiegel Online, July 14, 2006).


  • The men had just exchanged their prison garb for jeans, T-shirts and slip-on sneakers but were still in handcuffs as they boarded the plane, where they were shackled to bolts in the floor and surrounded by more than 20 armed soldiers. About 14 hours later, the plane landed in Albania, a poor Balkan nation eager to please Washington (Neil A. Lewis "Freed From Guantánamo but Stranded Far From Home," The New York Times, August 15, 2006).


FROM TESTIMONIES OF THE PRISONERS (ABDUL AL SALAM AL HILAL, ABDUL SALAM ZAEFF, ABDULLAH AL NOAIMI, KARAM KHAMIS SAYD KHAMSAN):


  • Jennifer described how and where men are imprisoned at Guantánamo. Every father was eager to hear if his son was in Camp Four, at that point the communal camp and the only medium-security camp atGuantánamo. Jennifer explained that she met with her clients only in Camp Echo, where they are held in solitary confinement. What she didn't say is that the men there are chained to the floor during meetings and, because of the construction of the new camp, have more reason than ever to fear that they'll be in Cuba forever (Eliza Griswold, "American Gulag: Prisoners’ Tales from the War on Terror," Harper's Magazine, September 2006).


FROM TESTIMONIES OF THE PRISONERS (MOHAMMAD SANGHIR, SHA MOHAMMED ALIKHEL, ABDUL RAZAQ)

  • Prisoners describe the interrogation room as a small, windowless, air-conditioned, plywood space, lit by fluorescent ceiling tubes. One, two or three Americans ask questions, through a translator if necessary. The only furniture is a wooden table with metal legs and metal chairs. Interviews are recorded on tape and by written note. There is a metal ring fixed to the floor; while they are being interrogated, the prisoners sit in a chair and have their chains fixed to the ring (James Meek, "People the law forgot, Part 1", The Guardian Unlimited, December 3, 2003).


FROM TESTIMONIES OF THE PRISONERS (TAREK DERGOUL):


For one period of about a month last year, he said, guards would take him every day to an interrogation room in chains, seat him, chain him to a ring in the floor and then leave him alone for eight hours at a time. 'The air conditioning would really be blowing - it was freezing, which was incredibly painful on my amputation stumps. Eventually I'd need to urinate and in the end I would try to tilt my chair and go on the floor. They were watching through a one-way mirror. As soon as I wet myself, a woman MP would come in yelling, "Look what you've done! You're disgusting." 'Afterwards he would be taken back to his cell for about three hours. Then the guards would reappear and in Guantanamo slang tell him he was returning to the interrogation room: 'You have a reservation.' The process would begin again. Dergoul also described the use of what was known as the 'short shackle' - steel bonds pulled tight to keep the subject bunched up, while chained to the floor. 'After a while, it was agony. You could hear the guards behind the mirror, making jokes, eating and drinking, knocking on the walls. It was not about trying to get information. It was just about trying to break you.' In their letter to Bush, Rasul and Iqbal also said they endured this procedure (David Rose, "They tied me up like a beast and began kickingme",The Observer, The Guardian Unlimited, May 16, 2004).



FROM TESTIMONIES OF THE PRISONERS (MOURAD BENCHELLALI):


  • "Then, in January 2002, I was transferred to Guantanamo. I was beaten up on the bus that was taking us to the camp. We were treated differently depending on whether or not we responded to questions. Those who did not `cooperate' were awakened every hour with the aim of preventing them from sleeping at all costs. They might put us in a room with the music very loud broadcast through large speakers or make us endure flashes of light for several hours at a time. Sometimes, they left us handcuffed for hours to a chair or then they turned down the air conditioning. The humiliations were numerous, in particular of a sexual nature. The Americans had prostitutes come into the camp. One of them planted herself in front of a Saudi—they were in the majority at Guantanamo—and smeared her menstrual blood on his face. The searches were constant and humiliating. They tied the Koran above us and took pleasure in batting it around (Azziz Zemouri, "I met Osama Bin Laden," Le Figaro.fr, February 14, 2006).


FROM OTHER FIRST-HAND TESTIMONIES:


  • (M1) Many detainees at Guantánamo Bay were regularly subjected to harsh and coercive treatment […] One regular procedure that was described by people who worked at Camp Delta, the main prison facility at the naval base in Cuba, was making uncooperative prisoners strip to their underwear, having them sit in a chair while shackled hand and foot to a bolt in the floor, and forcing them to endure strobe lights and screamingly loud rock and rap music played through two close loudspeakers, while the air-conditioning was turned up to maximum levels, said one military official who witnessed the procedure. The official said that was intended to make the detainees uncomfortable, as they were accustomed to high temperatures both in their native countries and their cells. Such sessions could last up to 14 hours with breaks […] “It fried them,” the official said, who said that anger over the treatment the prisoners endured was the reason for speaking with a reporter. Another person familiar with the procedure who was contacted by The Times said: “They were very wobbly. They came back to their cells and were just completely out of it.” One intelligence official said most of the intense interrogation was focused on a group of detainees known as the “Dirty 30” and believed to be the best potential sources of information (Neil A. Lewis, "Broad Use of Harsh Techniques is Described at Cuba Base", The New York Times, October 17, 2004).

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3. THE ANTS ARE MY FRIENDS (SOLITARY CONFINEMENT)


  • Lawyers go to court for Guantanamo detainee, saying he is being mistreated. The Associated Press. TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2006. GUANTANAMO BAY NAVAL BASE, Cuba. A Saudi detainee has been held in solitary confinement for a year at the Guantanamo Bay prison, his lawyers said in a motion filed Monday, claiming the detainee is now so mentally unbalanced he considers insects his friends. | Shaker Aamer, a 37-year-old resident of Britain, was placed in isolation on Sept. 24, 2005, and has been beaten by guards, deprived of sleep and subjected to temperature extremes, according to the motion filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The motion asks the court to order Aamer's immediate release from solitary confinement. | However, Aamer has said he had contact with fellow prisoners as recently as the beginning of June, one of his lawyers, Zachary Katznelson, said in a declaration to the court in Washington. Neither lawyer could immediately be contacted to elaborate. | Keeping Aamer isolated violates Geneva Conventions protections, Aamer's lawyers argued. | The U.S. military denied he is being mistreated. | The allegations surfaced as President George W. Bush and Congress wrestle over legislation to set rules for interrogating and trying terror suspects. Bush officials argue they need to establish ground rules so suspects can be interrogated to prevent horrors like the Sept. 11 attacks. | "Mr. Aamer has been held in complete isolation for the past 360 days," Aamer's lawyers said in the motion, adding that except for infrequent meetings with his attorneys, he has had consistent contact only with the Americans running the prison on this U.S. Navy base in southeastern Cuba. | "His only consistent contact with living beings beside his captors is with the ants in his cell. He feeds them and considers them his friends," Katznelson said in his statement to the court. | "There is no question in my mind that he is mentally unstable," he added. | The motion, a copy of which was provided to The Associated Press, said Aamer lives in a 6-by-8-foot (2-by-2.5 meter) cell containing a steel bunk, steel toilet, steel sink, a Quran and a thin mattress. The cell is contained entirely within a wooden shack. | Katznelson said that on June 9 — the day before three Guantanamo detainees committed suicide by hanging themselves in their cells — military police beat Aamer because he resisted providing a retina scan and fingerprints. | "They choked him," the lawyer said. "They bent his nose repeatedly so hard to the side he thought it would break. ... They gouged his eyes. They held his eyes open and shined a mag-lite in them for minutes on end, generating intense heat. They bent his fingers until he screamed. When he screamed, they cut off his airway, then put a mask on him so he could not cry out." | The motion said the treatment of Aamer, who is fluent in English and is known to military guards as "the Professor," violates Article Three of the Geneva Conventions, which states prisoners "shall in all circumstances be treated humanely." | Army Capt. Dan Byer, a Guantanamo spokesman, denied any of the roughly 450 Guantanamo detainees are subjected to such treatment. He said regulations prevent him from speaking about individual detainees, but that detainees are treated in conformance with the Geneva Conventions. | He discounted the allegation that Aamer was kept in solitary confinement. | "No detainee is in a situation where they do not have available human contact 24 hours a day," Byer said, but he declined to discuss whether Aamer has been kept apart from other detainees for a year. | Aamer told his lawyer the air conditioner in his cell is often turned off, leaving him sweltering in the tropical heat, or turned up full blast "so the cell is freezing cold." | Aamer claims he was working for a charity organization when he was captured in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 attacks. | The detainee won a measure of fame at the prison last year when he met with Army Col. Mike Bumgarner, who was then the warden, to end a hunger strike by detainees. | Aamer brought together a six-man prisoners council that attempted to negotiate improved conditions and advocated that detainees be tried or sent home, his lawyers said, but the talks failed and Aamer was put in solitary confinement.

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4. THE MAGIC MARKER INCIDENT (SEXUAL/RELIGIOUS ABUSE)


(ES39) The detainee [a young Saudi named Fareek] had already been in the booth, alone and in chains, for an hour; she [female Army interrogator ‘Brooke’] told me to grab some coffee because she’d decided to make him sit for another hour […] “I believe the problem here is that its too easy for him to regain strength when he returns to his cell,” Brooke noted. “We’ve gotta find a way to break that, and I’m thinking that humiliation may be the way to go. I just need to make him feel that he absolutely must cooperate with me and has no other options. I think we should make him feel so fucking dirty that he can’t go back to his cell and spend the night praying. We have to put a barrier between him and his God” | We opened the door to the booth and saw the Saudi, who was wearing ankle shackles and handcuffs with an additional chain connecting all his restraints to the D ring in the floor. The chain was again intentionally made too short, forcing him to hunch over in the thoroughly uncomfortable position that I’d seen quite often by that time. Two MPs were with him. The air-conditioning was turned way up […] Brooke said, “Erik, I’m going to work on making him feel like he can’t pray.” | We returned to the booth. Brooke and I were both in our sanitized (our names were taped over) BDUs. To my surprise, she started to unbutton her top slowly, teasingly, almost like a stripper, revealing a skin-tight brown Army T-shirt stretching over her chest. | Fareek wouldn’t look at her. “What is the matter, Fareek? Don’t you like women?” As she said this, she stood in front of him and tried to make him look at her body. She walked slowly behind him and began rubbing her breasts against his back. “Do you like these big American tits, Fareek?” she said. “I can see that you are starting to get hard. How do you think Allah feels about that?” The detainee was visibly bothered but still didn’t speak. She moved in front of him and took a seat. “What do you think, Fareek?” she said, placing her hands on her breasts. “Don’t you like these big tits?” He glanced, saw what she was doing, and immediately looked away. | “Are you gay? Why do you keep looking at him?” Brooke asked, referring to me. “He thinks I have great tits! Don’t you?” Caught off guard, I just nodded as I kept translating, which had gotten uncomfortable enough for me; I didn’t want to be drawn in further. “This is all your choice, Fareek, we can go on like this all night or you can start to answer my questions,” she said. “Who sent you to flight school?” […] | She [= Adel] had high-priority uncooperative detainee, she explained, and she wanted to find a way to break him from his reliance on God, his source of strength. He suggested that she tell the Saudi that she was having her period and then touch him. That could make him feel too dirty and ashamed to go before God later, he said, adding that she should have the MPs turn off his water so he couldn’t wash later. | I thought it was odd that a devout Muslim would suggest this treatment for a fellow believer, but Brooke seized Adel’s idea and built on it. She grabbed a red marker and disappeared into the ladies’ room. “Let’s go,” she said when she returned […] We sat across from the detainee […] “How do you [Fareek] think he feels about your being attracted to this infidel American woman?” |As she said this, she stood and moved her chair out of the way. She started unbuttoning her BDU pants. “Fareek, did you know that I’m having my period?” she said. She placed her hands in her pants as she started to circle behind the detainee. “How do you feel about me touching you now?” | Fareek’s spine shot straight as a steel rod. As I translated, he looked at me as if my death was his most profound desire. | Brooke came back around his other side, and he could see that she was beginning to withdraw her hand from her pants. As it became visible, the Saudi saw what looked like red blood on her hand. “Who told you to learn to fly, Fareek?” she demanded. He glared at her with vengeance, refusing to give in. “You fuck,” she hissed, wiping what he believed was menstrual blood on his face […] Fareek was screaming at the top of his lungs, rattling the flimsy trailer, body shaking, beginning to sob. He kept yanking his arms apart, as if he could somehow wrest himself out of his handcuffs. | “How do you like this?” she asked, holding open the palm of her hand to show him her blood. | […] The MPs rushed into the room and Brooke said to the lower-ranking one, “Fix the fucking shackles, leave him lying on the floor, and get the fuck out!” […] Brooke got down to her knees next to him. I followed suit. “It doesn’t have to be this way,” she said. “You have choices, Fareek. Who sent you to flight school?” He began to cry like a baby, sobbing and mumbling in Arabic too indistinct for me to understand. The only thing I picked out was, “You American whore.” |“What do you think your brothers will think of you in the morning when they see an American woman’s menstrual blood on your face?” Brooke said, standing up. “By the way, we’ve shut off the water to your cell for tonight, so the blood will still be there tomorrow,” she tossed out as we left the booth. There was no honor in what we had just done […] There wasn’t enough hot water in all of Cuba to make me feel clean (Saar and Novak 2005, 221-229).


  • (HS6) HITT: We tried out many of our new interrogation techniques on Jumah Al Dossari. Colangelo-Bryan met with him many times and catalogued what was done to him. Al Dossari said that Americans forced him to the ground and urinated on him. We put out our cigarettes on him. We shocked him with an electric device. We spat on him. We poured a hot cup of tea on his head. We told him "We brought you here to kill you." We beat him until he vomited blood. We threatened to have him raped. We dressed him in shorts and left him in a frigid, air conditioned room. We abandoned him in another room with no water. We invited him to drink from his toilet bowl, which he did. We wrapped him in an Israeli flag. We told him that we would hold him forever, and that we would send him to Egypt to be tortured. On a different day, we chained him to the floor and cut off his clothes while a female MP entered the room. We dripped what we said was menstrual blood on his body. When he spat at us, we smeared this blood on his face. We kissed the cross around our neck and said "This is a gift from Christ for you Muslims." We videotaped the entire episode. There’s no way to confirm that all this happened to Al Dossari. But other prisoners and officials at Guantanamo have described variations of every technique on the list, including the menstrual blood, the Israeli flag, the references to Christianity, the beatings, the sexual humiliation. [Al Dossari is interrogated still, about once a month. During one visit last winter, he asked Colangelo-Bryan, "What can I do to keep myself from going crazy?" A few months later, during a meeting, Al Dossari asked to go to the bathroom. Colangelo-Bryan and the MP stepped outside the hut and waited. After five minutes, Colangelo-Bryan got concerned. He cracked the door open.] COLANGELO-BRYAN: When I opened the door, the first thing I saw was a pool of blood on the floor in front of me. I then looked up and saw a figure – hanging. I yelled to the MPs for help. They then began to cut down the noose around Jumah’s neck. HITT: It wasn’t Al Dossari’s first suicide attempt. COLANGELO-BRYAN: About three weeks later, I was back in Guantanamo. Jumah said to me that he didn’t want to kill himself without an outside witness. His fear was that if he died, and only the military knew, nobody would’ve known what happened (Chicago Public Radio 2006).


  • "Then, in January 2002, I was transferred to Guantanamo. I was beaten up on the bus that was taking us to the camp. We were treated differently depending on whether or not we responded to questions. Those who did not `cooperate' were awakened every hour with the aim of preventing them from sleeping at all costs. They might put us in a room with the music very loud broadcast through large speakers or make us endure flashes of light for several hours at a time. Sometimes, they left us handcuffed for hours to a chair or then they turned down the air conditioning. The humiliations were numerous, in particular of a sexual nature. The Americans had prostitutes come into the camp. One of them planted herself in front of a Saudi—they were in the majority at Guantanamo—and smeared her menstrual blood on his face. The searches were constant and humiliating. They tied the Koran above us and took pleasure in batting it around (Azziz Zemouri, "I met Osama Bin Laden," Le Figaro.fr, February 14, 2006).


  • (B18) Other stories included how one detainee had had menstrual blood rubbed over his face during an interrogation, and how another was sexually enticed with a female interrogator straddling his lap while he struggled frantically to remove her (Begg 2006, 296f).

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5. PROVIDING NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTATION ON A VOLUN¬TARY BASIS TO DETAINEES WHO WISH TO PROTEST THEIR CON¬FINEMENT BY NOT TAKING ORAL NOURISHMENT (FORCE FEEDING)


  • (CCR30) These large tubes—the thickness of a finger, he estimated—were viewed by the detainees as objects of torture. They were forcibly shoved up the detainees’ noses and down into their stomachs. No anesthesia or sedative was provided to alleviate the obvious trauma of the procedure. Yousef said that he could not breath with this thick tube inserted into his nose (which was so large it caused his nostril to distend). When the tube was removed, it was even more painful, and blood came gushing out of him. He fainted, and several of the other detainees also lost consciousness. The detainees were told by the guards: “we did this on purpose to make you stop the hunger strike.” They were told that this tube would be inserted and removed twice a day, every day until the hunger strike ended. Yousef described the pain as “unbearable.” Yousef explained that doctors were present as the Initial Reaction Force forcibly removed these [nasal gastric] tubes by placing a foot on one end of the tube and yanking the detainee’s head back by his hair, causing the tube to be painfully ejected from the detainee’s nose. When the detainees saw this happening, they begged to have the tubes remain, but the guards refused and continued to forcibly remove the tubes. Then, in front of the Guantánamo physicians – including the head of the detainee hospital – the guards took nasal gastric tubes from one detainee, and with no sanitization whatsoever, re-inserted it into the nose of a different detainee. When these tubes were re-inserted, the detainees could see the blood and stomach bile from other detainees remaining on the tubes. A person the detainees only know as “Dr. [name redacted]” stood by and watched these procedures, doing nothing to intervene. Yousef, who was a juvenile at the time of capture, relayed that guards told him that a U.S. court had ordered the force-feeding and that was the only reason that he and other prisoners complied with the force-feeding. He was “greatly disturbed,” according to his attorneys, to find out that no such order had been given and that he had been lied to. When his attorneys tried to meet with him a second time, they were told that he had removed his nasal gastric tube and was encouraging other prisoners to do the same (Center for Constitutional Rights 2006, 29f).


  • (Y18) There were two permanent residents of the hospital [at Camp Delta]: an Afghani in his mid-twenties who was called Hajji by the guards and detainees, and Abdul-Rahman, a young Palestinian. Both were there because they had become severely depressed by the conditions of their confinement and appeared to be dying. Hajji pulled the covers over his head and refused to speak to anyone. He was so despondent that that he appeared comatose. Abdul-Rahman refused to eat and had shrunk to less than eighty pounds. The doctors were force-feeding him through a tube into his nose. During one of my visits, I witnessed the nurses insert the feeding tube into his nose. One held his arms as another globbed petroleum jelly up his nostrils and then inserted the tube deep into his nose. His screams could be heard throughout the hospital. Both of these men had their arms and legs chained to the bed. This could have been to keep them from hurting themselves, but more likely it was to protect the hospital staff from the detainees. Although Hajji and Abdul-Rahman were never fully conscious for long, they were still treated as terrorists that would strike again if given the opportunity […] “Why am I here, Chaplain? This is no use,” he’d plead, appearing to be nothing more than two vacant eyes and skin and bones. “I’ve told them everything, and they keep asking the same questions. What more do they want?” (Yee 2005, 73f).


  • While the The Pentagon insists the detainees are treated humanely, international concern concern increased after three prisoners hanged themselves recently. "If three detainees had hanged themselves many others had gone on hunger strikes and were alive only through painful force-feeding,'' Dost said. (RIGHTS-PAKISTAN: Journalists Release Guantanamo Bay Report Ashfaq Yusufzai PESHAWAR, Jul 31 (IPS))


  • To some of Colonel Bumgarner's officers, it seemed that the latest group of hunger-strikers were being allowed to get too comfortable. They had hospital beds, air-conditioning, attentive nurses and a choice of throat lozenges to ease the pain of their feeding tubes. The arrangement also allowed some of the hospitalized detainees to communicate relatively easily. | By late November, while many of the strikers were maintaining their weight, four or five of them were becoming dangerously malnourished, Dr. Edmondson said. By sucking on their feeding tubes, they had figured out how to siphon out the contents of their stomachs. Others simply vomited after they had been fed. | On Dec. 5, the guard force ordered five "restraint chairs" from a small manufacturer in Iowa. If obdurate detainees could be strapped down during and after their feedings, the guard officers hoped, it might ensure that they digested what they were fed. | Days later, a Navy forensic psychiatrist arrived at Guantánamo, followed by three experts from a Bureau of Prisons medical center in Missouri. Bumgarner said the visitors agreed with him that the strike was a "discipline issue": "If you don't eat, it's the same as an attempted suicide. It's a violation of camp rules." In addition to feeding prisoners in the chair, some of the more influential hunger-strikers were sent off to Camp Echo with the hope of weakening the others' resolve. The number of strikers, which was at 84 in early January, soon fell to a handful. | Lawyers for the detainees were appalled. The lawyers quoted their clients as saying detainees had been strapped into the chairs for several hours at a time, even as they defecated or urinated on themselves. The doctors told me later that they had run out of options. "I would have preferred to have waited," said Dr. Edmondson, the chief base physician, who other officials said opposed the restraint chairs. But he added, "I seriously believed that we were going to lose one of those guys if we didn't do something different." | In the spring of 2006, General Hood and Colonel Bumgarner were suggesting that the mood at Guantánamo had turned. A handful of hunger-strikers were still at it — a few young Saudis and Yemenites, and Ghassan al-Sharbi. But the officers saw them as zealots whose threat to the smooth operation of the camp could be controlled. Otherwise, disciplinary infractions and attacks on the guards were down, they said, and many of the detainees were responding positively to new incentives for good behavior. (The Battle for Guantánamo, By Tim Golden, The New York Times Magazine, September 17, 2006)


  • "Another lawyer, Joshua Colangelo-Bryan, said one of his three Bahraini clients, Jum'ah al-Dossari, told him about 10 days ago that more than half of a group of 34 long-term hunger strikers had abandoned their protest after being strapped in restraint chairs and having their feeding tubes inserted and removed so violently that some bled or fainted. | He said that during these force feedings too much food was given deliberately, which caused diarrhea and in some cases caused detainees to defecate on themselves," Mr. Colangelo-Bryan added. "Jum'ah understands that officers told the hunger strikers that if they challenged the United States, the United States would challenge them back using these tactics. (The New York Times, February 9, 2006).


  • We write regarding the forcefeeding and restraint of Guantanamo Bay detainees currently on hunger strike.1,2 The World Medical Association specifically prohibits forcefeeding in the Declarations of Tokyo and Malta, to which the American Medical Association is a signatory. | Fundamental to doctors’ responsibilities in attending a hunger striker is the recognition that prisoners have a right to refuse treatment. The UK government has respected this right even under very difficult circumstances and allowed Irish hunger strikers to die. Physicians do not have to agree with the prisoner, but they must respect their informed decision. Those breaching such guidelines should be held to account by their professional bodies. John Edmondson (former commander of the hospital at Guantanamo) instigated this practice, and we have seen no evidence that procedures have changed under the current physician in charge, Ronald Sollock.3 | Edmondson, in a signed affidavit, stated that “the involuntary feeding was authorized through a lawful order of a higher military authority.”4 This defence, which has previously been described as the Nuremberg defence,5 is not defensible in law. In a reply to an earlier draft of this letter, Edmondson said that he was not forcefeeding but “providing nutritional supplementation on a voluntary basis to detainees who wish to protest their confinement by not taking oral nourishment”. | Recently, it was confirmed that health-care staff are screened to ensure that they agree with the policy of forcefeeding before working in Guantanamo Bay.1 On his departure, Edmondson was awarded a medal for his “inspiring leadership and exemplary performance [which] significantly improved the quality of health care for residents of Guantanamo Bay” and “scored an unprecedented 100% on both the Hospital and the Home Health surveys.”3 The New York Times, however, reports that hunger striking detainees are strapped into restraint chairs in uncomfortably cold isolation cells to force them off their hunger strike.2 | We urge the US government to ensure that detainees are assessed by independent physicians and that techniques such as forcefeeding and restraint chairs are abandoned forthwith in accordance with internationally agreed standards ("Forcefeeding and restraint of Guantanamo Bay hunger strikers," The Lancet, Vol. 367, March 11, 2006).

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6. OUT FOR DRINKS AT THE WINDJAMMER BAR (IMPUNITY)


  • (HC1) During my conversations with this these [sic] people, one Sailor who called himself Bo (rank and last name unknown) told the group about stories involving detainees. Bo was 19 years old and had been working at Guantanamo Bay for almost one year. He was about 5'10'' and 180 pounds. He was Caucasian, with blond hair and blue eyes. Bo told the other guards and me about him beating different detainees being held in the prison. One such story Bo told involved him taking a detainee by the head and hitting the detainee's head into the cell door. Bo said that his actions were known by others. I asked him if he had been charged with an offense for beating and abusing this detainee. He told me nothing happened to him. He received neither nonjudicial punishment nor court-martial. And he never even received formal counseling. He was eventually moved to the maintenance section but this did not occur until some time after the incident where he slammed the detainee's head into the cell door (Cerveny 2006, 1).


  • (HC2) After Bo finished telling his stories of beating detainees, some of the other guards also told their own stories of abuse towards the detainees. Examples of this abuse including hitting detainees, denying them water, and removal of privileges for no reason. I recall speaking with a guard named Steven. Steven was a Caucasian male, about 5'8'', 170 pounds, with brown eyes. He stated that he used to work in Camp 5 but now works in Camp 6. He works on one of the "blocks" as a guard. He told me that even when a detainee is being good, they will take their personal items away. He said they do this to anger the detainees so that they can punish them when they object or complain. I asked Steven why he treats the detainees in this way. He said it is because he hates the detainees and that they are bad people. And he stated that he doesn't like having to take care of them or be nice to them. Steven also added that his "only job was to keep the detainees alive." I understood this to mean that as long as the detainees were kept alive, he didn't care what happened to them (Cerveny 2006, 1f).


  • (HC4) In addition to the above incidents, about 5 others in the group admitted hitting detainees, to include "punching in the face." From the whole conversation, I understood that striking detainees was a common practice. Everyone in the group laughed at the others stories of beating detainees. Most in group were in early 20's. Shawn was oldest. All except Shawn and Nicole were guards or escorts. Nicole was in intelligence (Cerveny 2006, 1).


  • (HC3) I then started talking to a Sailor named Shawn. Shawn was the petty officer who worked in the mailroom for the detainees. Shawn is African-American, about 6'4", 210 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. He said that his job included looking through and screening the detainees' mail. He was just finishing a year of service in Guantanamo Bay. I asked Shawn why it often takes 6 months or so for them to get their mail. Shawn replied that there is often delays because the mailroom personnel have to look through everything and get it translated prior to the mail being forwarded to the detainees. I then asked why is would possibly still take 6 months if the mail matter was printed in English. Shawn said there wouldn't really be a reason and it was not uncommon for them to withhold the mail of detainees until they, the mailroom clerks, decided to forward the mail (Cerveny 2006, 2).


Get the complete affidavit (and picture of Heather Cerveny) here.

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7. HANGING GESTURES (SUICIDE ATTEMPTS)


  • (ES34) By the time of the [October 2003] Red Cross’s statement, the official number of suicide attempts was 32, though I knew it was actually far higher. The device of labeling most attempted suicides as “manipulative self-injurious behavior” kept the numbers low, and Camp Delta’s command seemed to be using that designation more often. The military’s count of these fake “manipulative” suicides attempts wasn’t released until January 2005, when it was disclosed that a mass attempt by 23 detainees had taken place in August 2003. The Pentagon said that 350 “self-harm” incidents occurred that year, including 120 “hanging gestures” (Saar and Novak 2005, 243).


  • (HS6) HITT: We tried out many of our new interrogation techniques on Jumah Al Dossari. Colangelo-Bryan met with him many times and catalogued what was done to him. Al Dossari said that Americans forced him to the ground and urinated on him. We put out our cigarettes on him. We shocked him with an electric device. We spat on him. We poured a hot cup of tea on his head. We told him "We brought you here to kill you." We beat him until he vomited blood. We threatened to have him raped. We dressed him in shorts and left him in a frigid, air conditioned room. We abandoned him in another room with no water. We invited him to drink from his toilet bowl, which he did. We wrapped him in an Israeli flag. We told him that we would hold him forever, and that we would send him to Egypt to be tortured. On a different day, we chained him to the floor and cut off his clothes while a female MP entered the room. We dripped what we said was menstrual blood on his body. When he spat at us, we smeared this blood on his face. We kissed the cross around our neck and said "This is a gift from Christ for you Muslims." We videotaped the entire episode. There’s no way to confirm that all this happened to Al Dossari. But other prisoners and officials at Guantanamo have described variations of every technique on the list, including the menstrual blood, the Israeli flag, the references to Christianity, the beatings, the sexual humiliation. [Al Dossari is interrogated still, about once a month. During one visit last winter, he asked Colangelo-Bryan, "What can I do to keep myself from going crazy?" A few months later, during a meeting, Al Dossari asked to go to the bathroom. Colangelo-Bryan and the MP stepped outside the hut and waited. After five minutes, Colangelo-Bryan got concerned. He cracked the door open.] COLANGELO-BRYAN: When I opened the door, the first thing I saw was a pool of blood on the floor in front of me. I then looked up and saw a figure – hanging. I yelled to the MPs for help. They then began to cut down the noose around Jumah’s neck. HITT: It wasn’t Al Dossari’s first suicide attempt. COLANGELO-BRYAN: About three weeks later, I was back in Guantanamo. Jumah said to me that he didn’t want to kill himself without an outside witness. His fear was that if he died, and only the military knew, nobody would’ve known what happened (Chicago Public Radio 2006).


  • He did not see the soldier write slurs in the prisoner's Koran, but he believes that it happened--an Arab told him about it. "People did not mind when translators or those who believed in God touched the holy book," he says, "but they were angry with the faithless and godless soldiers who wrote ugly words inside it. Kafirs--godless people--are not allowed to touch the Koran." Rumors of a desecration swept through the prison. The next day, 10 prisoners attempted suicide; by week's end, there were 23 "hanging or strangulation attempts," according to the U.S. Army's Southern Command, which oversees Guantanamo. | Around Umarov, men tried to hang themselves using prison sheets, twisting there until soldiers came to cut them down. "I thought about it, too," he admits. "But from the Islamic point of view, suicide is a sin. We advised our neighbors not to do it." He witnessed one or two attempts a day. In response, the guards removed the sheets from the cells, turned off the water, and stripped every prisoner to a T-shirt and underpants (Mother Jones, September/October 2006).


  • (FBI37) [REDACTED] advised that he has pain in his right leg. He is in [REDACTED] cell block next to [REDACTED]. The guards were teasing the detainees and because of the noise they were making he was beaten in the leg and mouth […] An individual in cell [REDACTED] tried to commit suicide by hanging himself (DOJFBI 003396).

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