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Jordanian released from Gitmo interviewed by Al-Sabil cites abuse

This is a July 2004 cable sent by the American Embassy in Amman, Jordan, to the United States Secretary of State in Washington DC. The cable summarizes an article in Al-Sabil, a Jordanian weekly, regarding the treatment of Osam Abdul Rahman Ahmad in Guantanamo (and recommends action). The cable, which is unclassified, was obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union, who posted it on their website in May 2008.

1. JORDAN ISLAMIST WEEKLY AL-SABIL PUBLISHED JULY 6 [2004] A LENGTHY INTERVIEW WITH, THEY REPORT, THE FIRST JORDANIAN RELEASED FROM THE GUANTANAMO DETENTION CAMP IN'CUBA. THE FORMER PRISONER DESCRIBED HIS ALLEGED EXPERIENCES AT DETENTION CAMPS IN AFGHANISTAN AND CUBA FROM JANUARY 2002 UNTIL APRIL 2004 AS BEING WORSE THAN THE REPORTED ABUSE AT ABU GHREIB. THE FULL TEXT OF THE ARTICLE CAN BE FOUND IN FBIS REFTEL. WE REPORT THIS IN THE INTEREST OF ANY ONGOING INVESTIGATION.

HANDED OVER IN TEHRAN TO US FORCES

2. WISAM ABD-AL-RAHMAN, KNOWN AS ABU-UBAYDAH, DESCRIBED TO AL-SABIL HIS ALLEGED EXPERIENCES AS A PRISONER IN DETENTION CAMPS IN AFGHANISTAN AND GUANTANAMO. HE SAID IRANIAN POLICE ARRESTED HIM IN ZAHEDAN ON HIS RETURN FROM A TRIP TO PAKISTAN. HE SAID THAT AFTER HIS INTERROGATION BY IRANIAN POLICE HE WAS TOLD THAT HE WOULD BE RELEASED. HOWEVER, HE WAS INSTEAD TAKEN TO THE AIRPORT IN TEHRAN AND ALLEGEDLY HANDED OVER TO A U.S. PLANE WITH AFGHAN MEN ON BOARD.

DETENTION IN AFGHANISTAN, CUBA; RETURN TO JORDAN

3. ABD-AL-RAHMAN DESCRIBED HIS REPORTED PERIOD OF DETENTION IN AFGHANISTAN FROM JANUARY 2002 UNTIL APRIL 2003 AS MOVING FROM "ONE AMERICAN PRISON TO ANOTHER", STAYING IN COLD, DARK, AND CROWDED ROOMS. HE SAID HE STAYED, WITHOUT CHARGES OR INTERROGATION, WITH NINE OTHER PERSONS IN A 25 SQUARE FOOT ROOM WITHOUT SUNLIGHT AND FED ONLY BREAD AND RICE FOR A PERIOD OF ABOUT 77 DAYS. HE SAID THAT SANITARY AND HYGIENE CONDITIONS WERE TERRIBLE, AND THAT HE DID NOT RECEIVE MEDICAL CARE NOR SEE THE SUN DURING THE PERIOD OF DETENTION IN AFGHANISTAN. HE ALSO REPORTED SLEEP DEPRIVATION, UNDRESSING IN FRONT OF FEMALE SOLDIERS, DESECRATION OF THE KORAN BY A DOG, BEATINGS, AND THREATS OF HARM FROM BARKING DOGS WHILE BLINDFOLDED.

4. ABD-AL-RAHMAN SAID THAT AFTER BEING TOLD OF HIS INNOCENCE BY AN INTERROGATOR, HE WAS FLOWN TO THE GUANTANAMO DETENTION CAMP IN CUBA AT THE END OF APRIL 2003. MORE ALLEGED ABUSE, POOR CONDITIONS, AND SCARCE FOOD FOLLOWED. UPON HIS RELEASE IN 2004, HE WAS FLOWN BY A U.S. MILITARY PLANE INTO AMMAN AND HELD BY JORDANIAN SECURITY OFFICIALS FOR 56 DAYS, FOLLOWED BY RELEASE UNDER HOUSE ARREST.

RED CROSS FAILED TO DELIVER LETTERS

5. ACCORDING TO ABD-AL-RAHMAN, THE INTERNATIONAL RED CROSS (ICRC) DID NOT DELIVER ANY OF THE LETTERS THAT HE WROTE TO HIS FAMILY WHILE DETAINED. HE SAID THAT AN ICRC REP CAME TO HIS HOUSE AFTER HIS RELEASE, HANDED HIM THE LETTERS, AND APOLOGIZED FOR NOT DELIVERING THEM TO HIS FAMILY.

COMMENT

6. GIVEN THE REVELATIONS OF ABUSES OF PRISONERS IN ABU GHREIB PRISON, ABD-AL-RAHMAN'S ALLEGATIONS OF ABUSE IN U.S. CUSTODY IN AFGHANISTAN AND GUANTANAMO WILL BE WIDELY BELIEVED HERE.

7. BAGHDAD MINIMIZE CONSIDERED.

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