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Sleep-deprived Murbati is suffering in silence

Gulf Daily News
By Geoffrey Bew
August 3, 2007

THE last Bahraini detainee being held at Guantanamo Bay is barely able to sleep or talk to other prisoners, because of cruel US military tactics, say his lawyers.

Guards run large fans in the notorious Camp Six, where Isa Al Murbati is being held, that sound like jet engines and prevent captives from communicating and deprive them of sleep, says legal team head Joshua Colangelo-Bryan said [sic]

He says Mr Al Murbati is often scolded for trying to speak to other prisoners and is forced to talk through a small gap between the bottom of his cell door and the floor.

Mr Al Murbati, 41, has been kept in Camp Six, said to be one of the "cruellest" facilities in the prison, for more than six months.

He was previously moved from Camp One, allegedly the highest security section at the prison, after being forced off hunger strike in December 2005.

"In his cell, Isa cannot see other detainees and he can barely communicate with them," said Mr Colangelo-Bryan.

"He told me that it is possible to speak with his brothers through an air conditioning vent in his cell.

"However, to reach the vent, Isa has to stand on his cement bunk.

"Most often if he tries to talk to others this way, guards tell him to get off his bunk.

"They also threaten to take away the few items that Isa has in his cell if he does not follow their directions."

This forces him to crouch to talk under the door, for which he is also berated if caught, said the lawyer.

He met Mr Al Murbati just before Bahraini detainee Juma Al Dossary was released on July 16, but the US government has only now declassified the information.

Mr Colangelo-Bryan said, despite not knowing if he will ever leave Guantanamo Bay, his client tries to keep his spirits high.

"I told him during our visit about rumours we had heard, suggesting he and Juma would be home by Ramadan," he said.

"Isa said he would use that information to try and stay hopeful.

"Now that Juma has left, I imagine that Isa must feel very much alone.

"He must be worrying that he has been forgotten as the last Bahraini at Guantanamo.

"We can only hope that this is not true and that he will be home by Ramadan."

Mr Al Dossary, 32, who has dual Bahraini-Saudi nationality, was among a group of 16 Saudis freed and transferred to Riyadh last month.

He is still being held in Al Hair prison and is expected to be move to another shortly to undertake a rehabilitation programme to prepare him for life in the community.

Three other Bahrainis, Adel Kamel Hajee, Abdulla Al Nuaimi and Shaikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al Khalifa, were released from Guantanamo in November 2005, while Salah Al Blooshi was freed and returned to Bahrain in October last year.

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