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Days of adverse hardship in US detention camps

Amnesty International
AI Index: AMR 51/107/2005
December 16, 2005


Below is the testimony of Jumah al-Dossari, which he wrote in July 2005 in the US detention facility at Guantánamo Bay naval base, Cuba. The hand written testimony was given to Amnesty International by Jumah al-Dossari’s civilian lawyer. At the date of publication Jumah al-Dossari remains detained in Guantánamo Bay. This testimony is Jumah al-Dossari’s personal account of his experiences in Pakistani and US custody, and the views expressed in it are his own.


"When I took up a pen and decided to write about what I have suffered and my tragedy, I was unable to decide where and how I should start. What I have seen is a huge tragedy and a weighty matter, far weightier than I can put to paper. Indeed, the enormous horrors that my eyes have seen have and continue to see renew my anxiety and pain and my very being and feelings are shaken at the mere thought or flash of them in my memory. How can my heart forget them and how can my soul who bore these horrors continue with life? As I hold my pen, my hand is shaking. How will I write about these tragedies? Yes, tragedies, in all the possible meanings of the word. How will I write about these horrors and must I swallow the bitter lump that forms in my throat when I remember them? The revolting torture and those vile attacks which were a humiliation and will continue to be a vile stain on history, memories that whenever I look back on them, I wonder how my soft heart could bear them, how my body could bear the pain of the torture and how my mind could bear all that stress. How I wish my memories and my thoughts could be forgotten. But for me, in forgetting it and its effects, there are still memories, lifelong evidence of what happened to me in my wounds, my afflictions, my pain and my sadness. From here, in the gloom of prisons and from the depths of the detention camp, I am writing about what I have suffered. I am writing about my pain and my suffering. I am writing a story that has no end. I am writing about the suffering I have sustained for months and years. From here, from behind the walls of these dreadful cells, I am writing these lines about the part of my life that has come to pass, and which is still continuing, in American detention camps; lines about humiliation, indignity, oppression, deprivation and attacks on my religion, my person, my dignity and my humanity. From here, from the depths of the degradation that debase a person’s dignity, attack his religion, his person, his honour, his dignity and his humanity, all in the name of fighting terror. I am writing for those who will read my words. I am writing the story of what I have suffered from the day I was kidnapped on the Pakistani border and sold to American troops until now and my being in Guantánamo, Cuba. What I will write here is not a flight of fancy or a moment of madness; what I will write here are the established facts and events agreed upon by detainees who were eye witnesses to them, representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as well as soldiers, investigators and interpreters. All of these incidents have been filmed on camera and the film is kept in a secret archive somewhere.

Arrest and treatment by Pakistani authorities

"My suffering and my tragedy started when I reached the Pakistani border on my way out of Afghanistan. There I met a unit from the Pakistani army who were there to kidnap people leaving Afghanistan. When I met them, I told them that I wanted to go to my country’s embassy; they welcomed me with all their treachery, cunning and wickedness and started transferring me from prison to prison along the border and even the Pakistani military base in the border town of Kohat. I passed through several small jails where there was a lot of abuse. I had previously met several people when I was on the border, they were of different nationalities. They had left Afghanistan and the Pakistani army abused us and gave us the worst and most nasty kind of food. They put me in a cell which was 4m x 4m in which there were 59 prisoners without mattresses, blankets or a bathroom; there was only one bucket in the cell for everyone to relieve themselves in without a screen. Because there were so many of us in such a small place, we sat without moving and we were so close together that we almost felt suffocated. We remained in this situation for several days. They did not give us any food except for a few hard loaves of bread. The men started paying them to buy us food. They stole the money and only brought us a little food. In the Pakistani jails, they stole money from most of the prisoners and even our personal belongings, including clothes, shoes and watches. They stole many passports from the prisoners who were of many nationalities and we were abused. They abused me personally and beat me several times during investigations. The worst tribulation for us was when they transported us from one place to another: they would tie us up in the most savage way, so much so that some of us got gangrenous fingers and our hands and feet swelled and turned blue. They would tie us up for long periods of time in military trucks, sometimes from daybreak until night, in addition to the hours that they spent transporting us in trucks. Often it took very long. All of this while we were still tied up in the same way and all of this time we were unable to use the toilet or perform our prayers. We would pray by gesticulating and pray without purifying ourselves. We had no food and drink. Some of the brothers were ill and had to relieve themselves while they were tied up. Their urine would spill onto some of us. When they put us in cells and we objected to the abuse, they frightened us by drawing their weapons at us. On one occasion, a soldier shot at us to frighten us and terrorise us; the bullet hit the ceiling of the cell. Our situation remained bad. Once when we were being transported, there was a fight between some prisoners and the Pakistani army. The bus that this happened in was in front of the bus I was in. The bus rolled over in front of us and the two sides started shooting at each other as some of the prisoners had taken weapons from the Pakistani soldiers. The Pakistani army started shooting everywhere. Bullets flew over our heads and wounded many of the prisoners and the Pakistani soldiers. They also killed a number of people on both sides. Then the Pakistani army abused us all until things settled down at the Pakistani army base in the mountain town of Kohat. They gave us the worst kind of food: very, very awful beans. There were a few of them at the bottom of a dirty bucket half filled with water and half filled with oil, without any salt. Some of the brothers went on hunger strike and I was one of them. I wanted to go to my country’s embassy but I could not get up because I was so tired and hungry. If I stood up, I would fall down and faint. I almost died of hunger and I almost fell ill because the filth of the place. They put another kind of shackle on our feet, not chains but iron bars with a ring around our foot from which the 50cm bar protruded, then an iron joint from which a 50cm bar linked to the ring on the other leg. It was secured around the leg with a nail hammered in with an iron hammer instead of there being a lock and key. These shackles were always on our feet all the time so we could not sleep, walk, relieve ourselves, wash or remove our clothes. This is the state we were in the whole time we were in Kohat. It was very cold and the blankets they gave us were the worst thing I have ever seen: they all had insects, fleas and dust on them. They never kept us warm. Having them was the same as not having them, in fact not having them would have been better. They never gave us a mattress to sleep on. Then they told us that a human rights organisation wanted to meet us and would send us back to our countries.

"They really did hand us over – to American forces. They took us a special place in the same prison where we were met by American intelligence officers who interrogated us. We went one by one to several small rooms for interrogation; they took our pictures and fingerprints and questioned us. Some of these investigators insulted the prisoners and insulted Islam, Muslim scholars and many things happened that I do not need to mention. Then after two days, they took us to another room and gave us clothes they had been given by the American forces: they were jumpsuits made in Kuwait, as was written on the back in Arabic. They brought us American shackles and started to break the bar shackles, however the shackle on my foot would not break because the nails fixed into the shackle were very strong. My shackle did not break, nor did the shackles of two other prisoners. Then at exactly 11 o’clock – from that time on, the Americans only ever transported us at night, they took me with the prisoners to the Kohat military base airport after they had tied our hands behind our backs, tied our legs and blindfolded us. Then they put us in military trucks. When we reached the airport, an American military plane, American soldiers and an American interpreter who spoke Arabic were waiting for us. They took one by one and handed us over to the American soldiers. The deal was done and they sold us for a few dollars and they were not interested in us

US custody in Afghanistan

"After they handed me over to the American forces and the Pakistani soldiers went away, my real suffering started in this first stage when the interpreter came to me. My eyes were still blindfolded. She said to me, "you have to obey orders, don’t talk and you will be searched by soldiers". After that, the soldiers threw me down on the tarmac of the airport and started searching me carefully and violently. Then took me firmly and violently to the plane and put me on the floor of the plane like you set down and tie down cargo boxes. They tied me up with chains and my hands were bound behind me. They removed the Pakistani soldiers’ blindfold from my eyes and put a sack-like bag on my head. They tied me with chains on the floor of the plane and the chains were tied to rings in the floor of the plane. Their way of tying you up was complicated and was very tight against our bodies. They put chains across our stomachs from the front and across our backs from behind and they bent my head forward. When we were all in the plane - there were approximately 30 of us – they closed the plane door which from behind said "designed to carry machinery". After they closed the door, the soldiers started shouting, screaming and insulting us with the most vulgar insults and nasty curses. They started beating us and took pictures of us on a camera; I could see the flash. I had a violent pain in my stomach – I had had an operation on my stomach and there was a piece of metal in it; when I complained about the severity of the pain, a soldier came and started kicking me in my stomach with his military boot until I vomited blood. I do not know how many hours I was in that state as we went from the base in Kohat to Kandahar Airport where there is an American military base. How it hurts me to look back at these painful memories; the tragic event on the plane was only the start of the horrors waiting for me in the American army camp in Kandahar.

"We arrived at Kandahar airport after midnight. It was a Friday night at the beginning of January 2002. After we landed at the airport, we were taken down on to the tarmac and the weather was extremely cold. They made us lie down on the ground of the airport and we did not have clothing to protect against the cold as the Pakistani soldiers had stolen our clothes, even our underwear and our possessions. The soldiers then started beating us and walking on us and we were lying face down. The beating and kicking was so severe that the sackcloth bag fell one of the brother’s eyes. He saw the soldiers pointing their weapons at us so he shouted, "they’re going to kill us, brothers"; one of the soldiers hit him on the head with the butt of his weapon and he lost consciousness…After several hours of this beating and the severe cold, they made us stand in one line. They started to wrap a very strong wire around our right arms; each of us was tied at a distance of about two metres from the person in front of him. After they pulled this wire, they started making us run towards the unknown. When we approached the tents which had previously been an instalment, they started to insult us savagely. The prisoners started shouting and crying because of their severe pain – there were many young people with us – and the soldiers increased their insults and beatings and those of us who fell started to drag themselves on the grounds on the asphalt of the airfield and the others continued to jog. As I have already mentioned, I still had the Pakistani shackle which made it hard for me to walk, so I was one of those who fell and was dragging himself along on the asphalt. I tried to stand and walk but I could not. After that, we entered the tents and they started beating us extremely violently; I fainted several times because of the severity of the beating. Once I fell when I fainted and found my head under the boot of a soldier who started beating me severely. I fainted again and woke only to find the soldier urinating on my head and back; he was roaring with laughter. I was still lying on my stomach; he raised my head by the hair and started kicking me in my face with his boot and put it inside my mouth until my face and my lips were cut, my face was swollen and my blood was flowing copiously. Then he started hitting me on my eye; I almost went blind, were it not for the grace and mercy of Allah. We were in this situation for a long time. Then the soldiers started taking us one by one to another tent. When it was my turn, a soldier came, he had an electric saw with him and he cut off the Pakistani shackle and replaced it with an American one. They took me to that tent pulling me by my face. In that tent, there was an Egyptian interpreter with a dirty tongue who cursed us, our families and our honour in strong terms. He shouted at us, "you’re from Al Qaeda, you’re terrorists, you’re dogs" and other insults that I am loathe to repeat. Then they made me and the other prisoners take off all our clothes, most of which were torn from the severe beating we had received. Then they photographed us and examined us. My blood was everywhere, my face was swollen from being beaten and kicked and I had cuts all over my body. All of this was captured on video and I have pictures of myself in this state; an investigator showed me some of these pictures during a subsequent investigation session in Cuba. We were not allowed to talk or complain; anyone who complained was beaten severely. Most of the beating was concentrated on sensitive areas, like the eyes, the nose and the genitals. Then they took us to an old metallic building designed for plane maintenance at the airport. Inside, they had divided it into several enclosures fenced off by barbed wire. They made us all enter one of the enclosures which looked like a sheep pen. While the soldiers were taking me to this part of the tent, they beat me really brutally and banged my head against the iron building. I was not wearing shoes, I was walking barefoot and they made walk on the barbed wire. When I entered this metallic building, it was dawn so we prayed the dawn prayer. I prayed sitting down because I was so exhausted and tired and in pain. In the building, they [illegible] lights high above us so that we could not see the soldiers who were in places above us in the building. If any one of us moved, they would shout at us loudly and threaten us. After almost an hour or more, they started taking us one by one to the investigation tent. When they wanted to take one of us, they would order us to lie on our stomachs on the floor, and then they would tie our hands behind our backs. When it was my turn, two soldiers took me. I was barefoot and they beat me before I met the investigator. They banged my head against the metal building and made me walk on the barbed wire. They raised my hands from behind my back so high that my shoulders were almost dislocated. When I entered the investigation tent, I found that there were two Americans among the investigators, one of whom was white and the other was black. I said to them, "why are you torturing me and you haven’t even started questioning me? What do you want from me? Give me a piece of paper and I will sign anything you want". He said to me, "there is no torture here and there are no beatings". He could clearly see the state I was in! After they had finished questioning me, he left and I did not see him again. The soldiers came back and beat me and they took me to a place where there were splinters of glass. They forced me to walk over them barefoot, then one of the soldiers pushed me from behind. I fell on to the glass on my face. Allah protected my eyes from the glass splinters. Several prisoners were injured in their eyes and more than three brothers were blinded. The soldiers wanted to blind them so they threw these brothers who lost their sight on their faces while their hands were tied behind their backs and they fell either on rocks, the glass or something else, they [illegible] their eyes and they complained only to Allah. As for broken noses, many of us had our noses broken, including me, from the beatings. Then the soldiers took me back to a place outside the metallic building in a quad in one of the enclosures fenced off by barbed wire. One of the soldiers who had brought me there had beaten me and I was in a terrible state, so I told him that I wanted to see a doctor. He looked at me suspiciously and said, "a doctor?! We brought you here to kill you!" Then he shouted "don’t speak again" in my face. At noon, they took me to an enclosure fenced in by barbed wire in the middle of which was a tent that had no screen against the elements; the ceiling and supports of the tent were made of wood and there were approximately 20 to 25 prisoners inside. This is how the camps in Kandahar were. When I saw my fellow prisoners, I felt a little at ease because I found that most of them had suffered what I had suffered. Most of our clothes were torn because we had been beaten so much. We were not allowed to talk. They gave each of us one blanket to sleep on and one to cover ourselves with. The weather in Kandahar in the winter is extremely cold. They did not allow us to perform our ablutions to pray or perform ghusl (full ablution). They only gave us one pitcher of water in the day and at night with each meal. These pitchers were made in the UAE and Bahrain. The soldiers constantly repeated the word "crusade". They would also use the phrase "holy war" frequently. They would often curse Allah and the prophet Muhammad (PBUH) with most vile insults. Representatives from the ICRC brought us copies of the Koran printed in Pakistan. The soldiers treated the Koran terribly: they threw it on the floor during investigations of the camps. They gave us buckets to relieve ourselves in; when these buckets were full of waste, faeces and urine, they would empty them into a large barrel. These barrels were taken outside the camp. Once, a soldier came, he had a copy of the Koran in his hand. He said, "this is your Holy Koran in English", and he put it in the bucket full of faeces and urine. As he did so, he roared with laughter. This was repeated many times. All the prisoners, especially those who were with me in the camp and in the other camps, saw this. Once, when they were clearing the buckets out into the barrel, we saw a copy of the Koran floating above the faeces, urine and waste in one of the barrels. There is no power and no strength save in Allah! The copies of the Koran were checked everyday in a rather crude manner; they were thrown on the floor and the Korans were soon ripped and the soldiers would throw them in the bin before our very eyes. On many occasions, we found copies of the Koran with the soldiers’ footprints on them and some of them had filthy, offensive curses and swear words in English written on them. I saw a soldier come in during a camp inspection and threw the Koran on the floor, then she started turning the pages with her boot before kicking it into a corner of the camp. The soldiers in Bagram would play with the Koran as if they were playing football, as well as in Kandahar. I saw this myself. They would take copies of the Koran, tear pages out of it and clean and shine their boots with them. They would also tear out the pages to clean the faeces and urine out of the faeces buckets. Several soldiers did this and most of the prisoners saw them do this.

"During that time, I was moved to the camp clinic because of the terrible state of my health. They would take me for investigations which were mostly held at night; they would beat me severely and tell me to confess that I was a terrorist!! Once, from the excessive and severe beatings, one of my foot shackles broke. Once, they poured boiling hot liquid on my head and the investigator stubbed his cigarette out on my foot. I said to him, "why are you treating me like this?" He then took a cigarette and stubbed it out on my right wrist and said, "in the name of Christ and the Cross I am doing this". Once, they had beaten me so severely that my clothes were ripped and my genitals were exposed. I tried to cover myself up but they started kicking me with their boots. They stripped me of my clothes and lay me flat on the ground. One of the soldiers urinated on my head and my face after one of the other soldiers had raised my head by the hair. After that, a soldier brought petrol and injected it into my penis. I screamed because it was extremely painful. They took me back to the camp after a long night of torture. I was bleeding where they had injected the petrol and it was very swollen so I asked to see the doctor. When I met the doctor and told him what had happened, he became very angry and said, "you’re a liar and a terrorist and you deserve worse than this". He left me and went away. When it was almost sunset, they took me to the investigation tent, the torture tent, and beat me as they were taking me there. I saw the investigator and he was really angry with me; he said, "you’ve been complaining to the doctor about us?! We’ll show you what we’ll do to you" and they hit me really hard all over my body. They started kicking me with their boots and then they took me to another camp while I was blindfolded. I heard an Afghani prisoner scream; he was crying and saying, "O Allah, O God", in Afghani and other words in his language that I did not understand. When I approached the door of the camp, they took off the blindfold. I saw an Afghani brother in his fifties, he had a lot of white hair in his beard, and he was tied to the ground. Soldiers were holding on to his shackles and he was naked and lying on his stomach. One of the soldiers was sexually assaulting him. One of the soldiers had a video camera with him and was taping this distressing scene. The investigator said to me, "he was with the Taliban and he doesn’t want to confess" They made me really scared; I became hysterical and I almost went mad out of fear. They put the blindfold back on my eyes and took me back to the same tent where they were beating me. The investigator said to me, "if you complain again or talk about what happens here, we will do the same thing to you that we did to that Afghan terrorist". Then he hit me very hard and they took me back to my tent.

"O Allah, how hard these painful memories are. Now, as I am writing about what happened here and these events pass through my mind, I feel as if I will lose my mind, my body is shaking and I am overcome by strange, painful feelings. Did I really live through those events myself? Images of that old Afghani man, crying and cursing them are still in my mind, images of those hours I spent being tortured still haunt me and what was to come was even worse. Once, while being tortured, the investigator brought a small device like a mobile phone but it was an electric shock device. He started shocking my face, my back, my limbs and my genitals. They plucked out most of my beard. Beatings were not the only form of torture; sleep deprivation was also used. The soldiers would wake us up at night for inspections; sometimes they would make us stand in a line, after pointing their weapons at us, they would tell us that they were under orders to fire if any one of us moved. We would stand there for many hours like that in the freezing cold. They also starved us; they only gave us a meal at noon and a meal at midnight. They would wake us up and anyone who was too tired or was late in getting up would be denied having a meal. Representatives from the ICRC brought us some loaves of coarse bread; the soldiers gave each of us half a loaf in the afternoon but when some of the prisoners spoke to the ICRC representatives, the soldiers only gave us a quarter of the loaf and threw the rest in the rubbish bin before our eyes. When the soldiers woke us up for inspections, if anyone did not hear their call, either because they were asleep, ill or completely exhausted, they would punish everyone in the tent. This was always their style of punishment: collective punishment. The soldiers put a cross above the mosque of Kandahar Airport and also on the airport towers and some watch towers set up by the American forces when they occupied the airport. Once, they took an elderly Afghan to the investigation tent. He was in his seventies. They dragged him away for investigation. When they returned, they threw him on the ground; he was unconscious. One of the ICRC representatives was talking to an Afghan in this same tent and saw everything himself. After the soldiers left, two Afghans went to him to carry him inside; whenever the soldiers wanted to take one of us out of the tent or inspect the tent, they would order us to go outside to the barbed wire fence where we would stand in a line without moving and face the fence, thus showing them our backs. Then, when the Afghans carried him and took him inside the tent and he regained consciousness, he started shaking and could not speak or move.

"They started preparing to move us to Cuba. When it was my turn and I was in approximately the third group to be moved to Guantánamo, I was moved to another tent with several people. We were next to an empty tent in which they put Afghans from the northern states and Shabarghan. A number of them were brought there and the soldiers beat them extremely severely; their blood was everywhere and some of them had broken noses and blood poured from them. An ICRC representative saw this with his own eyes. The following day, they started taking us to the transfer preparation tent.


Transfer to Guantánamo Bay, Cuba

"It was midday when my turn came; they took me to that tent and put me an isolated area. A soldier came; he had a box which he was putting specimens into so cut off my beard and put it in there. Then they made me sit on a chair. A soldier came with a pair of scissors and cut all my clothes. They shaved my hair, beard and moustache and then took naked to a big tent in which there were several prisoners and many soldiers. They then took our pictures and made us wear the orange clothes. One of the soldiers at the door of the tent had a police dog with him. The dog was really vicious. His leash was in the soldier’s hand. Then they bound our hands with a shackle that had a chain that was wrapped around the waist. They then tied them to the metal shackles to prevent our hands from moving. Then they made us wear muffs on our ears and goggles so that we could not see. We were then put in the next tent from midday until night. We sat without food or drink, being unable to relieve ourselves or pray so we prayed by gesticulating. It was extremely cold and they put coarse gloves on our hands and they covered them in very strong adhesive tape. Very late at night, they started taking us to the plane…. They tied our legs to the seats or to the floor of the plane. My forehead and my nose were injured by the goggles, my hands became puffy and my legs were swollen because of the pressure placed on them by the shackles. "Then soldiers injected a shot of morphine into our thighs, then the plane took off and flew for many hours, I do not know how many, and then landed in a country in which the weather was hot. They then put us on another plane and transferred us roughly and violently. This plane took off and flew us into the unknown. We had no idea of where they were taking us. The second stage in Kandahar, with its pain and affliction, had ended. I had spent two weeks there from the beginning to mid January, two [illegible] weeks, full of sadness, pain and torture, only to start a new stage of afflictions in American detention camps, a stage of organised torture. In this stage, it was not only the soldiers who tortured us but also the doctors, nurses, investigators, translators and officials. Each of them played their part in torturing us, physically and psychologically, and all of this in the name of the law.

"The third stage started on the day the plane landed us in Guantánamo in Cuba; we did not know where we were. The soldiers put us on a military bus that had no seats in it. They made us sit on the floor of the bus. A translator who was Lebanese came and said, "you are at an American base and you mustn’t talk or move. You have to keep your heads down". Then he swore at us and shouted at us. If any one of us moved, he would be beaten severely. When it was my turn to get off the bus, I could not move because I was extremely stressed and exhausted. They told to me get up right now and shouted at me. When I wanted to tell them that I could not move, they started hitting me and told me again that I was not allowed to talk. Two soldiers carried me and threw me from the bus, while I was shackled, onto the ground. They then took us to Camp X Ray. They put us in a place in the afternoon and left us there until the next night; we were still wearing the same shackles from the day before. At night, it was my turn; they took me to a big tent and took my picture and fingerprints. There was an interpreter with them who treated us really badly. They took me to a cement building which had a shower. They stripped me of my clothes and gave me soap but did not take the goggles off my eyes. The water was very cold and when I put the soap on my head, they shouted at me that my time was up; they were well aware that I had not bathed for more than a month and a half. They then made me lie on the dirty floor and made me wear a very tight jumpsuit. I was then taken to where they have the cages. I was put in a cage at midnight. I was completely exhausted. The journey from Kandahar to Cuba was very long and they had given us shots of morphine and hallucinatory drugs and sleep-inducing drugs. When I was put in the cage, a soldier told me, "you mustn’t talk, you mustn’t touch the mesh, you mustn’t cover your head and your hands when you sleep and you have to stay in the middle of the cage". He also me that there was a toilet outside the cage; if I needed to relieve myself, I would have to ask one of the soldiers. In the cage, there were two buckets, one had water in it and the other was empty. The soldier said that the empty bucket was for urine. The soldiers had only recently finished building our camp, Camp Bravo, the second camp. The soldiers were still building the other cages and camps as I was in the third wave of those who went to Cuba as I mentioned. There were nearly 30 detainees in each new batch of prisoners. I put my head down and I did not feel [illegible] until the second day at the time for the dawn prayer.

"It was then that my suffering started. If we wanted to go to the outside toilet, a portaloo, the soldiers would take us violently and would look at our genitals; even the female soldiers did that. They would stand outside the door which was open while we relieved ourselves. After that, we started using the urine buckets to defecate to avoid those filthy people who had no mercy in their hearts and to protect our dignity from the male and female soldiers who would touch and play with our genitals. When a new batch of detainees came from Afghanistan, they would force us to go a particular place and would not allow us to stand, to pray or make the adhan (call to prayer) for many hours until the new batch had been through what we had been through when we arrived. In the first month, we were not allowed to make the adhan, to talk or make ghusl (full ablution washing the whole body) if we were impure in the cages. We were only allowed to wash at specific times in the week; they would take us to the bathing area in four cages prepared for that purpose. There, they would order us to take off our clothes and strip ourselves off completely. When our bathing time ended – we had two minutes – they would give us towels and then give us our clothes back. There was and still is very, very little food and there were snakes, scorpions and poisonous insects that would enter the cages. At that time, they also distributed copies of the Koran to us; the soldiers insulted us when we came out of the cages and threw them on the floor, inspected them and kicked them with their shoes. When it was time to change our clothes, they would give us tight clothes and forced us to take hallucinogenic drugs whose effect lasted for more than two weeks. When they wanted to take one of us, they would force us to sit on our knees and put our hands above our heads; some soldiers would press our heads through the mesh so that we were up against the mesh when the soldiers entered and our noses were hurt by these actions. When we went for investigation, the soldiers would abuse us and would push our heads down and would hasten us along even though we were shackled, or when we went to the clinic or whenever we left the cages for any reason. They would terrorise us with police dogs and would wake us up at night to get our serial numbers. The Emergency Reaction Forces (ERFs) would be set upon us and some of the detainees would be punished by having all their possessions taken away and being forced to sleep on the cement on cold nights. Then there was the first hunger strike in Cuba which led to an all-out hunger strike. In our camp, Camp B, there was a Saudi detainee from Ta’if called Muhammad Al-Quraysh. He was praying the duha (midmorning) prayer and had covered the lower half of his body with a towel because the clothes they had given us were too tight. One of the wardens told him to take the towel off. Muhammad was praying and did not reply. The warden ordered a soldier to go into his cage. He waited until Muhammad prostrated in his prayer and then went up to him. He wanted to snatch the towel away from him, so he pushed him to the ground and interrupted his prayer. He took the towel and scuffled with Muhammad. The warden entered and pushed Muhammad and then they left. We started to say "Allahu Akbar" (Allah is the greatest) together and all the camps started to say "Allahu Akbar"; the whole place echoed with chants of "Allahu Akbar". That same day, soldiers had abused the Koran in one of the camps. Then we all threw our things out of the slit in the door. When we started chanting, the whole place echoed "Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar". The soldiers started running away. One soldier was driving an armoured cruiser outside the camp, when he heard "Allahu Akbar", he turned the cruiser and got down from it and started running. The management operated the security lock on the camp and sent the Emergency Reaction Forces (ERFs) and police dogs to us. The dogs were shaking as we chanted. They brought cameras because the Americans do not do anything without video cameras and they taped us and put the films in a secret archive; the interpreter told us about the archive. Then we went on hunger strike for nearly two weeks. Allah then made things slightly easier for us because of this hunger strike; new orders were issued not to throw or inspect the Koran. After this, many things happened. They brought us new shackles that had a chain around the waist extending from the hand shackles and a chain linking the hand shackles and the feet shackles; exactly like the ones they bound Omar Mukhtar with in the film Lion of the Desert. These shackles were made in Britain. There were also attacks: the detainees were beaten and insulted. Other things happened too but what I have mentioned is sufficient. Perhaps most of it has been mentioned in the media.

Torture and ill-treatment in Guantánamo Bay

"They would take us for investigation with civil and military investigators. They threatened us and they threatened me personally by taking out their weapons and pointing them at me. They threatened me that I would be killed if I went back to my country. Many things happened to me at this time and I was attacked in a similar way that I was in Kandahar; I do not wish to mention the horror of these attacks. During investigations, I was threatened with rape, attacks on my family in Saudi Arabia, my daughter being kidnapped, and my murder – assassination – by their spies in the Middle East if I went back to Saudi Arabia. I was threatened with being deported to America, to American prisons. There are American prisoners waiting for people like me. [2 pages missing]

"As for the Emergency Reaction Forces (ERFs), one could go on forever but I will only mention some general incidents that happened. There was a group of soldiers whose emblem and badge was 9/4. These soldiers were the most detestable and abusive and abused our rights...There were other groups as well who all had the same hate for us. They would deploy the ERFs for the most trivial matter so that there was an excuse to attack us and vent their secret hate with the blessing of their officers in charge. If they went into the cage of a detainee, his blood would be sure to flow or they would break his bones; seldom would they exit without injuring the defenceless detainee. Perhaps I will mention some of the incidents I saw myself here. They went to a detainee and put his head in the toilet. The toilets in Camp Delta are iron, Turkish-style toilets and then they flushed his head down the toilet until he almost died. They went to a detainee and started beating his head against the toilet rim until he lost consciousness and he could not see for more than 10 hours. He suffered facial spasms as a result. They went to a detainee when he was praying the maghrib (sunset) prayer and beat him severely. That was in isolation block I India. On that same day, they came and beat me. At that time, we were angry because the duty chief supervisor cursed Allah and banged on the doors of our cells and said, "Merry Christmas"; that was on Christmas day 2002. There were many, many attempts to gouge the eyes of the detainees and to hit them in their private parts. They would beat them when they were ill and would hit them on their injuries. One detainee, called Abdul Aziz Al-Masri, was ill and was asleep in the hospital. These soldiers went and beat him very badly in the hospital in front of the doctors and nurses. His injuries were excessive and caused his spine to break. He is now hemiplegic. They are now trying to operate on him but he is refusing out of fear that they will play with his back and make it worse rather than make it better as their operations often do. These kinds of incidents happen often. They would make sending them to the detainees an excuse for incidents in which we would suffer extensive injuries, severe disfiguration and fractures as there was no one monitoring or following up their actions. Rather, their officers and officials gave them the orders. They tortured the detainees in the name of the law. There are too many incidents to mention or even count. Perhaps those I have mentioned are enough because many of these incidents have been mentioned in the media.

"I shall return to my story and my suffering; they would take me for investigations very often; I have had over 600 investigation sessions until now. The soldiers would overpower me by harassing me and putting me into solitary isolation for no reason. The investigators would also put psychological pressure on me. Perhaps I will mention some of the things that happened to me in the investigation rooms when I was in Camp Delta. I will not mention a lot of the incidents that happened to me because I do not want everything that happened to be published. Some of the things that happened to me during investigations are: I was threatened with being murdered, tortured and having to spend the rest of my life in jail in Cuba, my daughter Nura would be kidnapped, they would make trouble for my family in Saudi Arabia and they threatened to assassinate me after I am released. They put very strong detergent in the investigation room and poured it all around me until I almost suffocated. They put a music stereo record on very, very loudly, they put very bright torches to my face, they put me in a very, very cold room and reduced the temperature to the lowest temperature for many long hours and did not allow me to have food or drink, go to the toilet or perform my ablutions to pray. There were many other things such as they tied my hands to my feet in the ring on the floor of the room. All the investigation rooms have a metal ring fixed in the floor to tie the detainees’ feet to it. As for sexual assaults, many things happened to me and I will mention some of them here. The worst situation, or attack, happened to me in September or afterwards, I do not remember the date exactly, in 2002, the first September after 9/11. The FBI took me for lots of investigation. One day, on a Saturday – I will tell you the reason for why I remember this date later – the soldiers took me at night for investigation. In the investigation room, they tied my feet to that steel ring and then they left me and went away. I sat alone for a long time. Then the door was opened forcefully and four soldiers wearing black masks and a female investigator came in. The soldiers started terrorising me by raising their voices and one of them had a video camera in his hand that he was taping this with. Then this investigator said to me, "now we want you to confess that you are with Al Qaeda or that you have some connection to the attacks in America, otherwise tonight we will show you something that you will never ever forget for the rest of your life", and of course, I will never forget what happened for as long as I live. I told her that I had no connection to what she was talking about. They also had extra shackles with them that the soldiers moved in their hands to terrorise and frighten me. They started threatening me and when I realised that something serious was going to happen to me, I started screaming and shouting so that perhaps one of the brothers would hear my screams. However, that was out of the question as all the investigation rooms were soundproof. She said to me, laughing, "it’s Saturday, it’s the weekend, it’s late at night and there are no officials around". After one final attempt to threaten me, she ordered the soldiers to start – what they had previously been ordered to do; the soldiers came and took me off the chair. My feet were tied to that ring as I mentioned before. They then laid me out on my back and put the extra shackles on top of my hand shackles and pulled me by them forcefully and brutally in the opposite direction, towards my feet, while I was lying on my back. Then the investigator signalled to a soldier who a pair of scissors in his hand to cut off all my clothes. The soldiers cut off all my clothes, removed them and threw them in a corner of the room. The investigator then started taking off her clothes – the soldier with the camera was filming everything. When she was in her underwear, she stood on top of me. She took off her underpants, she was wearing a sanitary towel, and drops of her menstrual blood fell on me and then she assaulted me. I tried to fight her off but the soldiers held me down with the chains forcefully and ruthlessly so that they almost cut my hands. I spat at her on her face; she put her hand on her dirty menstrual blood that had fallen on my body and wiped it on my chest. This shameless woman was wearing a cross on a chain. The cross had a figure of a crucified man on it. She raised the cross and kissed it, and then she looked at me and said that this cross was a present for you Muslims. She stained her hands with her menstrual blood and wiped my face and beard with it. Then she got up, cleaned herself, put her clothes back on and left the room…then the soldiers took my hands and tied them to my feet on the ground. All the soldiers left once they had taken my clothes from the corner of the room and left me in this state – tied up, naked and smeared with [] menstrual blood... After a few hours, some soldiers came; I do not know for certain if they were the same soldiers and that they had taken off their masks or if they were other soldiers. They took me naked to the bathroom where I washed myself and they brought other clothes, as if they did not know about the severe violations I had suffered, as if nothing had happened. They took me back to the camp just before dawn. I was in a hysterical state, I was in a really bad state; I almost went mad because of what had happened, how it had happened and why it had happened. How it pains me to remember and write about these humiliating episodes. If these facts did not need to be documented for the whole world to know what happens in American detention camps, then I would not write this. They are real tragedies and they fill my heart with sadness and it almost breaks my heart to remember them. I was shaken to the core; my body and my mind were shaken. I later learned that I was not alone in suffering this humiliation; many of the detainees had been assaulted in a similar way or even worse, as happened to one detainee from Saudi Arabia, from Makkah Al-Mukaramah, called Fahd Omar Abdul Majid Al-Sharif. When they found out that his family were descendants of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), he was assaulted by a female investigator in the same way that I was, except that the investigator that attacked him was not menstruating. The same scene was repeated with several detainees as well as some of the detainees being assaulted sexually by soldiers and investigators in the investigation rooms. If they found out that the detainee they were investigating was an imam of a mosque or a preacher, as was my case, they would insult them more. These kinds of investigators, both male and female, and soldiers who sexually assaulted detainees were often not seen again after these evil attacks. Instead new people were brought to the detainee and they would do the same things to him that had been done to the previous detainee; it was almost as if they were specialists in these types of crimes and assaults.

"I am shaking and I feel pain as I write these painful memories that happened to us and to me personally. They have violated us deep in our hearts, our dignity and our humanity; all of this to prove the depravity of their agents and the immensity of their crimes against humanity. This is what those who brag about civilisation, peace and the law do, in whose name they have committed all of these severe human rights violations. I know for certain from twenty other brothers detained here who are of different nationalities that they faced these same evil crimes and even worse but they have prevented me from mentioning their names here. However, I was given permission by Fahd Omar Al-Sharif to mention his name and what happened to him. He allowed me to mention his story but I will not linger on the disgusting assaults that they suffered. I used to be exactly like them before; I completely refused to have my name published alongside the painful details of what had happened to me. However, I received a letter from my lawyer explaining to me that it was necessary that I disclose my name to the media and also that I convince some of the brothers detained with me of the necessity of disclosing their names to the media, so that the world can know what has happened and is happening in Cuba. I heard that some American officials deny that human rights violations are occurring in Cuba and deny that there are sexual assaults on detainees and that some journalists are also skewing the facts. For example, as concerns the story about the detainee whom a female investigator smeared his face with menstrual blood, when this story broke out, the interpreter who calls himself Sam, who is a liar and slanderer, said, "she put her hand in red ink and then put it on the face of the detainee". He knows full well that we all saw our brother when he was brought back from investigation and we saw the menstrual blood on his face as they had brought him back directly from the investigation room to the camp without washing the blood off his face and everyone saw it. So what happened to us was also red ink? That is why I have decided to publish these incidents and I have not mentioned others as they were too savage. It is also to give credibility to what has happened. I am an eye witness to what has taken place here and I am prepared to present my testimony anywhere.

"This is not the whole story. There are many other stories; for example, one day the investigator took me to the investigation room. All the investigation rooms in Cuba lead to the next room through a door. When the soldiers took me into the room, the door between the two rooms was open and a male and a female investigator were naked and were having sex. The soldiers who brought me there were under orders not to look away. When they took me to the room, they shackled my feet to the ring on the ground and then they went away as if they had not seen anything or heard anything. When the investigators had finished what they were doing, the male investigator came before me and removed his condom and threw it in the bin in the room. Then he told me," if you want to go with that investigator and have sex with her, cooperate with me and I will give you an hour with her and I’ll ask the soldiers to remove all your shackles". I did not speak to him, then after nearly half an hour, they left the room and soldiers took me back to the camp. This is in addition to the pornographic films they put in the investigation rooms and the pornographic magazines and pictures they put in front of me in the investigation rooms. Some of the detainees were raped either in Afghanistan or in Cuba by investigators and soldiers. These brothers refuse to have these incidents published with their names next to them. To give an example and without mentioning the name of the person this happened to, because he told me that he does not want his name published, a Saudi Arabian brother in prison in Mazar-E-Sharif was raped by twenty soldiers at one time, both Americans and General Dostum’s soldiers. There are many other stories about such incidents in Bagram, Kandahar and Cuba. There are also lots of non-sexual assaults that happened.

"At the end of 2003, a major incident happened to me in the investigation room. The soldiers took me to the investigation room and the investigator – who I only ever saw on this one occasion – had a Koran in his hand when he entered the room. He put it on the table and started talking and raving. Then he asked some soldiers to come in so some soldiers came. This investigator had brought the American and Israeli flags in with him. He then ordered the soldiers to wrap the flags around me tightly and then he took the Koran, threw it on the floor and damaged it with his shoe. Then he exposed his penis and urinated on it. He said a lot of things to me, such as, "this is a holy war between the star of David and the cross against the crescent" and "the whole world will submit to us and if any one doesn’t submit to us…" [page missing]

"…Many incidents took place in Camp Delta; to give an example, some detainees were beaten and had their heads put down the toilet. This happened to me personally and to a brother from Yemen called Abdul Muhsin Al-Yafei as well as another Yemeni brother called Omar Al-Ramah. He had been on hunger strike for two weeks because of the abuse he was subject during investigations; his investigator, called Jacob who said that he was Jewish and that his son was called Benjamin, asked for Omar Al-Ramah to be put in this camp. He was very tired because of his hunger strike and this investigator would have him taken for investigation every day for more than twelve hours. Then the investigator himself came and I saw myself talking to the camp administration in the doctors and nurses’ room; Guantánamo has its own rules but Camp Delta is not subject to these rules, it has an independent administration. He ordered them to keep him awake for the twelve hours that he was in investigation and on the second day, they took him to the solitary isolation cells in Camp Delta. You have no idea of what the solitary isolation cells in Camp Delta are like; they cause psychological illnesses. They beat him in solitary and I heard his screams when they were beating him. A lot of things happened to me in Camp Delta; I was severely psychologically abused, beaten, I bled and I was also stripped of my clothes and left naked on cold days. They put me in a cage, a cell that had nothing in it, no pillow, no mattress, only the cold metal of the cage; I was left there for many days. They would send soldiers and nurses to harm me. They took away all my things for many long months; I had nothing in the cold metal cage except for a plastic mat. Sometimes they gave me something like a cloth to wrap myself up in and [then] they would take it away. I was in this situation for more than five months. The soldiers played with our food and they tried very hard to cause us any kind of psychological stress. They would prevent me from having the food I could eat to put pressure on me. I refused to take any medication; at first they tried to, so I took it from them and threw it down the toilet and fooled them into thinking that I had taken them. Then I later told them the truth, that I was not taking any medication and that I was throwing it into the toilet, so they stopped giving me these poisons. The investigators would say to me, "cooperate with us and we’ll get you out of Camp Delta and we’ll stop your psychological stress"; I did not speak to them during investigations because of the crimes they perpetrated against me.

"They then used a new style of torture which was much worse than before; at the end of December 2003, they took me to the detainees’ hospital where a new tragedy began. They varied the psychological torture they subjected me too; in the hospital, they put pressure on me by preventing me from speaking to any of the other detainees, or even the soldiers and nurses or anyone else at all. I was only allowed to talk to three people who were in charge of torturing me, a doctor, who was a virulent racist, called P and two nurses who were just like him; in fact, he chose them himself. The first called herself "Irish" and the other one called herself "Swedish". They put me in a solitary cell and took all my clothes except for my shorts and my shirt. They took the blanket and reduced the air conditioning to as low as it could go. I almost died because it was so cold; the hospital building was made of metal and it was extremely cold. They did not allow me to have a copy of the Koran for several weeks and they did not allow me to bath or perform the obligatory ghusl (full ablution). They brought a lot of shackles and when I wanted to go to the toilet, they made me walk bare foot on the cold hospital floor and enter the toilet without shoes. They would come in with me and stand in front of me while I relieved myself and did not allow me to use toilet tissue. The shackles were kept on when I went to the toilet and while I was inside so it was incredibly hard for me to relieve myself or perform my ablutions. They ordered the nurses in the hospital to abuse me. I would be given food that [was] not suitable for my stomach, which has become much worse during my imprisonment. They prevented me from having the food that I needed and brought me hard food that I could not eat and I always ended up vomiting it up. As concerns this situation, the soldiers who were guarding me came from Camp Delta and no one apart from them was allowed to guard me. They would not let me know what the time was and the whole time I was shackled to the bed, which was really a hospital trolley, and I could not move. I have a lot of pain in my body and I have rheumatism because of the extreme cold and walking bare foot on the floor. I previously suffered from rheumatism in the camp because I was deprived of my clothes and slept in the cold metal cage. There were nurses who were responsible for me in the hospital who specialised in harming me. Once, after I was allowed to have a copy of the Koran, one of them came and threw it on the floor. They tried to give me drugs. These drugs made many of the detainees ill and gave them really huge psychological problems. I refused to take any of these kinds of drugs, even the general medications could not be trusted. I was in this state for three weeks; they were the worst days of my detention, they were full of deprivation, humiliation, oppression and psychological stress. On most of these dark nights, I almost suffocated from the severity of the oppression. Only Allah, the Exalted, knows what state I was in. Oh, those days and those nights, how I lived through them, but Allah was with me and were it not for the mercy of Allah, I would have killed myself a long time ago, but Allah’s mercy is greater than anything else so I kept myself busy by memorising the Koran. Allah’s mercy was showered on me even if the investigators, the doctors, the nurses, the soldiers and the oppressors hated it. The psychological torture was a greater tribulation than the physical torture I faced; physical torture brings you closer to Allah and increases one’s faith, whereas psychological torture breaks a person from deep within. I have lived through black nights that never seemed to end. I swear that I could not stand because of the severity of my suffering and stress, or even cry which would have made it easier for me. I could not. There was no one to answer me in the complete solitary isolation, there was no one to talk to, to make things that happened to me even slightly more bearable and there was no one for me to complain to about what I felt and was experiencing except for Allah, the Exalted, and He blessed me. My close friend during banishment and loneliness was the Book of Allah and I complained to Him about the ordeal I was suffering and what these oppressors were doing to me. His mercy and glory encompass everything and after three weeks, they moved me to isolation Camp I India. While I was in hospital, they were thinking about and planning their next move. The devil showed them a new ruse; they picked out a special cell for me in the isolation camp. In the cell, they put metal above the washstand and soldered it so that there was no washbasin in the room and there was no water except for the water from the flush in the toilet whose tank was outside the cell. When I was taken from the hospital to the isolation camp –they were all in the hospital and the camp in Camp Delta – the soldiers took me barefoot and I was only wearing my shorts and shirt. While I was walking on the pebbles, some of the soldiers stopped at a gate and one of them said, "how did this detainee get into this state?" one of the soldiers who was holding me told him, "he has had harsh punishment". Then they took me into the cell. Nurse "Irish" and some people and soldiers from the psychiatric clinic were waiting for me at the camp so that they could keep me under special guard. After that and before they removed my shackles, a soldier with scissors came forward and cut off my shirt and left me naked in the metal cell under the cold air conditioner without clothes, a pillow, a blanket, shorts, a small plastic mat [or] even plastic bathroom slippers. The doctor issued an order to prevent me having these things. This happened in mid January 2004. The metallic cell was very cold as I have already mentioned and the air conditioner was on directly above the metal bed. The light in the cell was very poor. The cell was very small: if I got off the metal bed, the toilet was just underneath me so I slept next to the toilet to avoid the chill from the air conditioning. However, I was happy when I found that there were some other detainees in the camp. They welcomed me dearly and they helped me. Were it not for Allah, the Exalted, and them, I would have killed myself in that situation. The doctor did not allow me to have any toilet tissue or water (as they had blocked the washbasin), except for a glass of drinking water if I asked for it. For more than two weeks, I used the toilet without toilet tissue or water. I would clean myself with water from the flush. After that, they allowed me to have very little toilet tissue, which was not enough at all. The soldiers from Camp Delta who came especially for me harmed me a lot and followed a set programme of harming me. They would harass me and they would harm my food: they would put the plate of food besides their shoes and sometimes I had to take pieces of rubbish out of the food. I later found out that they spat in the water they gave me in the cup so I started to drink and make my ablutions from the flush water. As I mentioned before, the toilets in Camp Delta were metallic Turkish toilets, so I would pull the chain and put my hands next to the toilet and cup the water in my hands and drink from it and perform my ablutions. I had no other choice. I did this for more than three months and when I told the doctor that a solider had spat in my water and that a number of soldiers had seen this and he had done this in front of the psychiatric nurse, he said, "what do you want me to do about it?" He knew about everything that had happened and these orders came from him, as I was later told by a soldier (who felt sorry for me). This doctor who had violated my rights was responsible for the washbasin being welded shut because when I was in the hospital, I had asked to take a bath. He even prevented me from performing the compulsory ghusl (full ablutions). I told him, "when I was in the camps, I used to bath everyday". That was why he ordered the washbasin in my cell to be turned off. I told him, "we’re Muslims. If a man has a wet dream, he has to bath". This was one of the main reasons. When the Bahraini delegation came, I complained to them about what was happening to me, I explained my situation to them and told them that I was drinking water from the toilet flush. But they took no action. The soldiers wiped their shoes on my clothes that were outside the cell and that I had to wear when they took me for investigation. They also took letters from my family and threw them in the bin. Due to the severity of what was happening to me at that time, I became like a house of cards that always falls down; whatever side you try to build it from, it will still fall down. I almost collapsed completely. I was saved by the mercy of Allah. I really cannot describe my situation and the evil that befell me. I was in another world, not this world. Allah is enough for us and the most excellent of protectors. They forced me to go out for a bath outside the room in the bathing area early in the morning in the biting cold of January. I was only wearing my shorts; they made me bath in cold water and did not let me change my shorts after I had bathed. They made me go back wet to the metal cell which was freezing cold under the air conditioner. The cell was dirty as there was no water for me to clean it and they did not give me a clean blanket… It was in itself enough to make you depressed or sad. Once, I heard one of the soldiers talking to another and telling him, "I would never let my dog in America live in a place like this!! My dog in America lives in a place hundreds of times better than this". Oh, those days and nights. I felt that time had ended at that time and did not want to move forward. I felt that the whole world with its mountains and all its gravity was bearing down on my chest. I had no helper and protector except Allah. I was at the end of my tether, all the doors had closed on me and I had lost hope in everything except Allah…I was extremely cold and I almost froze. I could not sleep. When I tried to sleep, I would fall asleep and start to feel warm as if I was covered by a blanket and I would think that I was covered and try to pull it over me but when I woke up, I would be cold and naked again with nothing to cover myself with or protect me from the cold. In this state of darkness, injustice and oppression, Allah was with me. He blessed me, in the severity of all this psychological stress in this very depressing cell, by helping me to memorise the whole of the Holy Koran, in spite of the harshness of my circumstances, what I was suffering and the intensity of this disgraceful psychological stress. This was Allah’s mercy on me.

"During those days, one of the things I suffered was food poisoning because of how terrible the food they gave me was and how dirty the cell, the cell of sorrows, was. The doctor and the nurses were not worried about what happened to me and they neglected me completely. Nurse "Swedish" came and I told her that I had been vomiting, I had diarrhoea and a temperature and I was very ill. She said, "we’ll wait for three days and if you’re still in the same condition, I will talk to the doctor about it". After a while, they took me back to the hospital and back to the days of privation. As I am writing about this tragedy, I feel the pain of the privation that I faced. It is as if it is a film scenario or a film, however, this really happened. O Lord, O Lord, I ask you not to deprive of my reward for persevering during those dark days. I was in the hospital for the same amount of time as last time: three weeks, and they tried new ways of psychologically stressing me. Then they took me back to the same cell of sorrows, the same cold metallic cell. When the psychiatrist’s time in Cuba ended and he was about to leave, he came to me in the cell and said, "you’ve really surprised us. In spite of all the things we’ve done to you and the psychological pressure we’ve put on you, you’re still here and you didn’t crumble. You didn’t even need antidepressants!" I had remained silent in the face of all these challenges but I said to him, "we are Muslims. Allah is with us and He is our Helper, the best Helper and the best Protector. We have the Holy Koran in our hands and it is a mercy and a cure. As a long as a Muslim improves his relationship with Allah, Allah will forgive him, have mercy on him, make difficulties easy for him and protect him against the [illegible]". This [illegible] ended one of the harshest periods of my life; it was harder than the physical torture. It ended in reality but it has not left my mind and remains in my memory. The pain, sorrow and injuries remain in my memory and how I wish I could forget.

Camp 5

"This stage finished when they finished building Camp 5 which was opened on 25 May 2004. I went into this new camp to start a new stage of misery, privation, humiliation and distress. There was an order to move me to Camp 5 for me to finish off the rest of my days in solitary isolation there. All the cells in Camp 5 were isolation cells and the whole building was made entirely of pre-cast concrete. When I went there, to Camp 5, from where I am writing my memoirs, they gave me back my trousers and my blanket, but a month after I arrived at the camp, they issued new orders and took away all my things again and I was there in this state for nearly two weeks. I was still in the same programme as in Isolation Camp I India. They had the same instruction papers on how to deal with me that the soldiers acted in accordance with when I was in the hospital and in Isolation Camp I India. Then Allah made things easier for me and they gave my things back. I do not know how to describe "my things"; they were only a dirty blanket and a plastic mattress. However, at least, it protected me from the cold. Here, there was centralised air conditioning in all the cells and the weather was cold. The workers in the psychiatric clinic tried to harm me but Allah, the Exalted, in His mercy saved me from their plans. Their control here was not as strong as it was in Camp Delta. Camp 5 has harsh rules that are the harshest rules of all the camps in Cuba, such as Camp Delta and Camp Echo. Everything here is computerised, even the doors, lighting, cameras; everything is computer-operated. Also when my case was taken up by the legal firm, it was by the grace of Allah and the reason for my suffering being reduced because they were afraid of these events leaking to the outside world via the lawyers…Here in Camp 5 where the cells have no windows except for a small hole covered with glass that no one can see anything from in spite of it being small. The light here inside the cells is permanent and very strong. On the doors, there are small windows covered from the outside. If a soldier wants to look inside, he can lift the cover and look in. The glass on it is like mirror glass which, from the inside, no one can look out. As I have already mentioned, in all the four camps in Camp 5 and in the corridors, there is centralised air conditioning. However, they brought enormous fans and put them in the passages of the camp between the cells. They were extremely noisy and disturbing. It sounded like a plane engine. When we spoke to them about it, they said that these were the investigators’ orders because they said that they help the investigations. They also said that they put these fans there so that we could not talk to each other.

"As for the water, here and all over Guantánamo, the water is really bad, it is yellow and sometimes it smells like sewage. Many times, there have been worms in the water. When I show them to the soldiers and the clinic, they tell me to throw away the water and take some other water and drink it. The food here is the worst food and there is very little of it. All praise is to Allah in any case. We are not allowed to enter the library or have any books, except during the investigation. Approximately two years ago, they stopped us having any religious books and gave us books about love and eroticism and books distorting the Islamic faith and insulting Allah and the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). As for the health care here, it is worse than bad; there is no treatment here and no medicine, except for tranquilisers. Some of the detainees, including me, have even vomited blood. I will mention this later. Many of the detainees are suffering from many different illnesses and no one treats them but Allah, whom we complain to. As for our being able to go out in the sunshine, that rarely happens. The ERFs are following their same programme as before. There are more soldiers here who put strong-smelling detergents outside our cells so that we almost suffocate from the smell. They shackle us here in a completely different way than they do in all the other camps: they tie our hands behind our backs. There are poisonous insects here like scorpions and poisonous spiders. Sometimes the soldiers kill them in the corridors outside our cells. Sometimes they come into our cells and there is the story of my being stung by a scorpion. Many things here are worse than they are in the other camps.

"I return now to my story. In March 2005, I met the lawyer who had taken on my case. I was telling him about the torture, violations and assaults I had faced and I do not know if they were spying on us. When the lawyer left, a soldier came and he had put on the military [illegible] and he was angry. He said, "it’s best that you forget everything that’s happened to you and don’t mention it again to anyone if you want to stay safe". He left after he threatened me. They gave me rotten food three times and when I told the soldiers who was distributing the food that the food was rotten and that it had a strange taste, he said, "this is what they gave me to give to you!" From that time and until now, I am ill. I constantly feel dizzy, I have a permanent headache, I vomit all the time, I faint frequently and I have terrible pains in my heart and left arm which is permanently numb. I sent the lawyer several letters to tell him what happened and I do not know if they have reached him or not. At the end of March 2005, they took me for investigation where I met an Afro-American investigator who called himself Jeremiah and a white man who called himself Sam. Then another investigator came from the FBI. I have forgotten what he is called. This investigator brought pork with him. He wanted to trick me so he said that it was chicken, but I did not touch it. Then they took me and started threatening me and shouted at me in the investigation room. They abused me and said indecent things to me. Then they took away my things and took the letters from my family to me. They talked to the doctor to tell him to stop giving me the soft meals the doctor had allowed me to have because of the illness I suffer in my stomach. I was having these meals for a year and then they stopped some of the treatment I was having. My state of health has become very poor recently. I fall and faint nearly every day. On 12 June 2005, in the evening, when my evening meal was brought to me, there was a dead scorpion on the plate. When I ate a little and saw the scorpion, I gave the food back to the soldier and showed him the scorpion. On that same night, in the same meal, a Tunisian brother called Hecham was also given a plate of food with a dead scorpion on it. Since the day that they threatened until now, I have been removing insects and dung beetles from the food and showing it to the soldier who then says, do you want another plate?! I have started to vomit blood. At the end of June 2005, there was a problem in our camp when they attacked and beat our brother Hecham, the Tunisian, and he lost blood and sustained several injuries and bruises. When we called for the head guard, he came and while he was talking to Hecham, there was a yellow scorpion walking between the cells. The head guard killed it. That same night, a scorpion entered my cell and bit me. I asked one of the soldiers to call the clinic but no one came until dawn the next day, by which times hours had gone by since I was bitten. I tried to squeeze my skin where I was bitten to extract the poison. My leg swelled and turned red, I was shivering and I was sweating everywhere. I tried to heal it through ruqya (healing through prayer) and by the grace of Allah and the ruqya, Allah made the danger recede. When the nurse came, he only gave me a painkiller and a pill for the itching. Now my health is very poor. I vomit blood and I show it to the nurses and the soldiers but to no avail. Once, I vomited blood in a cup and the blood fell outside of the cell in front of the guard. I explained to him that I was ill and I told him that this blood was from my stomach. He said he would talk to the clinic but the clinic did nothing. When I complained to the clinic, they only gave me painkillers. They were Motrin pills. The doctors advised us not to take them because they cause ulcers and damage the liver, kidneys, stomach and sight. They also have a lot of side effects. It is strange that in spite of that they still prescribe them to us. I got a lot of ulcers because of them and many detainees are suffering from ulcers. All praise is to Allah in any case, even though my health has gone from bad to worse and I can hardly stand because of the severity of my emaciation, dizziness, headaches and vomiting of blood. I have lost more than 30kg of weight since I was imprisoned up until now. I now weight nearly 55kg. My health has become so bad that on 7 July 2005 I vomited blood and wrote on the wall of the cell with it in English, "I am sick and I need treatment". The guard came and I told him that this blood was from my stomach, I have been ill for a long time, no one wanted to treat me and the clinic was very neglectful in caring for us. He went and spoke to an officer and then they took me to the clinic. The doctor examined me and immediately he gave me some nutrients. At the same time, some officials came with a video camera and filmed the wall of the cell. Then one of them came to me in the clinic on the ground floor and told me that "we are concerned about your illness because we are afraid that your illness will spread to our soldiers". However, he was not being honest as they did not do very much about my illness and my blood pressure was still falling lower; a few days ago, it was 90/50. My heart beat is slow; yesterday it was 40/80. I cannot even trust the nurse. I was re-examined three times. In Camp 5, there are some brothers who vomit blood like me: Jarallah Salih Al-Marri from Qatar, Khalid Al-Mutairi from Kuwait and Abdullah Aali Al Otaibi from Makkah Al-Mukaramah in Saudi Arabia. Everyday I fall and faint and no one wants to treat me. As I write these memoirs, we have started our hunger strike. Today is the end of the second week and the strike is still continuing. We have been in Cuba for nearly four years, during which time we have not faced any trial or charges. We are also on hunger strike because of the medical abuse and neglect we face and because they prevent us from learning about our religion and about religious issues. Two days ago, while I was writing these memoirs, I became really ill; I fell and was taken to the hospital. I spent two days there and then they brought me back here. Here I am now; as I try to write the last page of my memoirs, I am in a terrible state. My blood pressure has fallen a lot to 80/40 and below. All praise is to Allah in any case. In the hospital, I vomited half a cup of blood and they did not give me any treatment, they only gave me nutrients. I have been in solitary isolation for more than 20 months. I spoke to the Bahraini delegation when they came at the beginning of the year but as usual, it was of no use. After the delegation left Cuba, one of the investigators, called Matt Varani, gave me presents in a box from Bahrain brought by the Bahraini delegation. It was a box with the best Bahraini chocolate, some Bahraini sweets, mamouls (sweet date pastries) and other items in it. He said that this was a present from the Bahraini delegation for us. These gifts were the produce of a well-known, famous Bahraini company. As for the soldiers making fun of Islamic religious practices, one of the soldiers still comes and beats a drum and makes noise when we are praying. The soldiers still mishandle the Koran as well. I ask Allah to end this tribulation for us…I have written the story of my suffering and sorrows, this story which has not ended and which I am still living through. I have written these lines from behind the walls of the dreadful detention camps. I have written about my pain and my sadness. I do not know what will happen in the future and what fate has hidden for me, when the end will come or how it will be. I ask Allah to make the end a good one and for my detained brothers ane me to be released soon.


"To conclude, I apologise to whoever reads this as it is not organised very coherently and is poorly expressed. I am extremely ill and we are still in the hunger strike as I write this. I ask Allah to make my situation easier for me and for my fellow detainees. Do not forget us in your prayers.

May the peace, blessings and mercy of Allah be upon the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), his family and all his companions."


Juma Bin Muhammad Bin Abdul Latif Al-Wadani Al-Dossari
Camp 5, Guantánamo, Cuba
Saturday, 16 July 2005 CE
10 Jumada Al-Thani 1426 AH


"I would like to add this note to the story I wrote and in which I mentioned the horrific torture I was subjected to in the American detention camps. I wrote about a dark chapter in my life, full of injustice and aggression. However, I would also like to clarify a very important matter and it is that, as Muslims, we have learned from the Holy Koran and the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that a Muslim must be just in all circumstances even if he is attacked. A Muslim does not wrong a person who attacks him. We have been taught by the Holy Koran and the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that justice and fairness are the most important things. I would thus like to point out that NOT all of the soldiers in Guantánamo tortured and oppressed us. There were some soldiers who treated us humanely, some of them would cry because of what was happening to us and were embarrassed by the style of management at the camp and even by the American government, their lack of justice and oppression of us. To give an example, when I was in Camp India in Camp Delta and I was being tortured, an Afro-American came to me. He said sorry to me and gave me a cup of hot chocolate and some sweet biscuits. When I thanked him, he said, "I don’t want your thanks. I want you to know that we are not all bad and we think differently". When I was talking to a soldier and I told him what happened to me, he cried and had tears in his eyes. He was clearly moved. He said sorry to me about what had happened to me and he also offered me some food. These are examples to show the reader that there are some soldiers who have humanity, irrespective of their race, gender or faith. This is what has made me add this note to the end of my story, so that the reader of my memoirs does not think that I am biased against all Americans. However, I did not mention these instances in my story because I remembered all the bad things that happened to me and I did not remember this note. However, so that I am just and fair, I have written this note and added it to my story for all the Americans who read this message."

Juma Muhammad Al-Dossari

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