Unclassified notes from his attorney, July 26, 2009
From the unclassified notes of David Remes, attorney for Yasin Qassem Muhammad Ismail
July 26, 2009
[AT THE MARGINS: They won't treat his canker sore]
These days we protested many times.
Wednesday, July 15: It was a peaceful protest; we stayed in rec area—20 people, Camp 5—because one of the detainees has a pain in his back. He can't walk, can't even shower because he doesn't have a wheelchair. This condition was allowed to persist for four months. The straw that broke the camel's back (so to speak) was when they took away [the] special chair […] people in his condition use—the toilet. Doctor says detainee is a malingerer. We asked to speak with higher-ups. EOIC (one bar) came to talk with us. We explained [the] problem. EOIC said [the] detainee doesn't need [a] bathroom chair because [the] doctor says he doesn't need it (the EOIC is assistant of OIC in charge of all [of] Camp 5) (commander has two bars, assistant has one bar). After we argued with EOIC, he said—no return of chair. They said detainee threw chair at soldier so they took chair away as punishment; then they refused to return it because they said he didn't need it. He asked to see us on Fri[day] at 9am.
[Friday,] July 17: A higher ranking officer came. We told him of the situation, but he gave the same response as EOIC. I argued with him. I asked why this detainee couldn't go to rec or shower for four months if there's no problem? We asked whether this was really based on doctor's recommendation or punishment. Higher official said it was punishment. He left, then came back at 8:25pm. When he returned, he said he had read all the reports and this was not a punishment. Official said he cancelled 10 out of 20 days of punishment; only six to go. We said, "how can you 'punish' a man who needs a wheelchair by taking away his wheelchair?" Official said "We'll take him to the doctor and see what the doctor says." Official said he'd come back the next day. They [had] started protesting on July 15 by staying in rec area; the higher up said, on July 17, "go back to cells while you wait for me to check with the doctor, or you'll be punished." We went back to our cells on a Saturday, July 18, at 12:50pm.
[Saturday, July 18:] At 12:50, EOIC came with a translator. I was in my cell. The EOIC told me that the detainee had an app[ointmen]t with doctor after the noon prayer. After prayer time, a nurse from BHU came to see detainee. She talked to him for 5 min[ute]s and left. At around 2pm, soldiers came, put him on stretcher, and brought him to BHU [AT THE MARGINS: They sent him to be examined and just X-rayed his head. Now they began tube-feeding him. He's down to 99lbs]. So Yasin wrote a second letter, in [the] rec area, to the Admiral, then [a] 3rd letter [AT THE MARGINS: He wrote to Admiral Thomas, telling him that he needed some medical attention]. Two days later, [an] official came and said there's nothing wrong with him. He still hasn't come back. They'r still demanding to know the results, and started discussing another protest.
[Wednesday] July 22: People restarted the protest by hunger striking—35 out of 40 in Camp 5, including people who were originally on hunger strike joined [AT THE MARGINS: 19 of [the] 35 [are] being tube fed; there are 7 more on the verge of being tube fed—plus Yasin; he has been on hunger strike for 5 days]. Because of [the prisoner on whose behalf the protests were launched], they stopped special meals for sick people; [they allowed] no rec time as punishment. You can't wash or shower (this is a punishment). [On Saturday, July 25], 5 people were moved to Camp 6 (they were hunger strikers [AT THE MARGINS: 5 of the 35]) to break hunger strikers.
Friday, July 24: On Friday, a man who had been on hunger strike finally collapsed after 15 days [AT THE MARGINS: He went on hunger strike because of stomach sickness. He faints. This happened to him right after they gave him talcum powder for [a] rash. He had an allergic reaction. Also, he asked for medication; they gave him [a] sleeping pill]. He was also hunger striking to protest the other punishment. The other man who collapsed was on hunger strike—he was punished by withdrawal of medicine [and] no shower. So they wanted to search his cell. So he said "send me to the shower or rec area in the meantime," so they IRF'd him. Official had said "We'll make life difficult for him."
This all marked a change from when I was last here. It all started on July 15. Now, [there is] new punishment every day. Rumors [are that there are] differences within Camp Administration—between those with Obama and [the] Bush die-hard.
Abdulsalam's experience was not unique; another man found a pair of scissors [AT THE MARGINS: in the psych ward!], another time a nail clipper, another time a metallic object. There was an Afghan in BHU—they put shackles and chains under the bed. Afghan gave items to nurse.
I am scared for my life. I want you to tell the judge.
We will stay on our hunger strike until they cancel the punishmens. We need to know why [they]'re withdrawing special meals, medication, rec time. Until [now] we have received no explanation. We are frightened [ILLEGIBLE]
— — —
[We] heard from Uzbek man who came from BHU to Yasin's cellblock in Camp 5. [He] says that Waddah took sleeping pill from nurse, [and he] slept. Five min[utes]s later, they heard [a] soldier knocking on [Waddah's] door. Nurse said to [the] soldier "Don't disturb him; he just wants to sleep." Soldier said, "but he's not breathing," so they entered his cell. Afghan across from [the] cell saw them giving him CPR, blood coming out of his nose, foam coming out of his mouth. They stayed in cell 1 hour ten min[ute]s, claiming they were trying to examine him and revive him. Why leave him there 70 min[ute]s? Why not take him to hosp[ital] right away? Then they moved him.
The Americans claim his underwear was around his neck. They accuse him of strangling himself with underwear—pulling out the underwear, to choke himself ([the] psychiatrist said, they found "him hung"). This really spooks the men, scares them.
[AT THE MARGINS: Yasin dropped from 145 to 135 lbs]
Add this to stories about threats "to kill you"
[AT THE MARGINS: "We'll make this hell" 15-20 days ago]
Problems with tube-feeeding—unsanitarian