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Report on Torture, Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment of Prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. (Khadr)

In July 2006, The New York Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) published its Report on Torture, Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment of Prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. This report is based on accounts drawn directly from habeas counsels’ unclassified notes reflecting prisoner statements made to counsel during in-person interviews conducted at Guantánamo beginning in the Fall of 2004. Some information for that report was taken also from public sources compiled in Cecili Thompson Williams & Kristine A. Huskey, Detention, Interrogation, and Torture at Guantánamo Bay: Materials and Case Files, a report published by the law firm of Shearman and Sterling LLP in October 2005. The testimony by or about Mr. Omar Ahmed Khadr in the CCR report can be found below.

(CCR58) O.K. was 15 years old when he was captured in July 2002. Military officials at Bagram treated him roughly, despite his young age and his poor physical condition. He was interrogated repeatedly by military officials, and on many occasions was brought into the interrogation room on a stretcher. On one occasion, interrogators grabbed and pulled him, he fell and cut his left knee. On some occasions, interrogators brought barking dogs into the interrogation room while his head was covered with a bag. On other occasions, interrogators threw cold water on him. They also tied his hands above the door frame and made him dangle painfully for hours at a time. While his wounds were still healing, interrogators made O.K. clean the floors on his hands and knees. They forced him to carry heavy buckets of water, which hurt his left shoulder (where he had been shot). When he was able to walk again, interrogators made him pick up trash, then emptied the trash bag and made him pick it up again. During the interrogation, he was not allowed to use the bathroom, and was forced to urinate on himself. Around March of 2003, O.K. was taken out of his cell at Camp Delta at approximately 12:00 – 1:00 a.m., and taken to an interrogation room. An interrogator told O.K. that his brother was at Guantánamo, and that he should “get ready for a miserable life.” O.K. stated that he would answer the interrogator’s questions if they brought his brother to see him. The interrogator became extremely angry, then called in military police and told them to cuff O.K. to the floor. First they cuffed him with his arms in front of his legs. After approximately half an hour they cuffed him with his arms behind his legs. After another half hour they forced him onto his knees, and cuffed his hands behind his legs. Later still, they forced him on his stomach, bent his knees, and cuffed his hands and feet together. At some point, O.K. urinated on the floor and on himself. Military Police poured pine oil on the floor and on O.K., and then, with O.K. lying on his stomach and his hands and feet cuffed together behind him, the Military Police dragged him back and forth through the mixture of urine and pine oil on the floor. Later, O.K. was put back in his cell, without being allowed a shower or change of clothes. He was not given a change of clothes for two days (Center for Constitutional Rights 2006, 5f).

(CCR59) The juvenile O.K. spent a month in isolation in a room “like a refrigerator” (Center for Constitutional Rights 2006, 18).

(CCR60) The juvenile O.K. stated that interrogators threatened to send him to Egypt, Israel, Jordan, or Syria if he did not cooperate (Center for Constitutional Rights 2006, 18).

Primary Sources

O.K. v. Bush, 377 F. Supp. 2d 102, 103 (D.D.C. 2005).

Exhibit A to Motion for Preliminary Injunction at 4, O.K. v. Bush, 377 F. Supp.2d (D.D.C. 2005) (No. 04-1136).

Richard J. Wilson & Muneer Ahmad, Unclassified Attorney Notes Regarding O.K. (on file with authors).