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Terror Suspect: Mohamedou Ould Slahi. Allegations of Abuse

Globe and Mail
July 17, 2007
By Colin Freeze

As a prisoner in Guantanamo Bay, Mohamedou Ould Slahi says he was subjected to multiple beatings, temperature extremes - and even a striptease. Once asked to recall everything he said under duress, he responded, "Are you out of your mind?"

"How can I remember uninterrupted interrogation that lasted the last seven years?" he said in a 2006 letter to his civilian lawyers, since released to The Wall Street Journal. "That's like asking Charlie Sheen how many women he dated."

First questioned by relatively polite Canadian police in 1999, Mr. Slahi was arrested in Africa after 9/11. He has since testified he was beaten during months of interrogation in a secret prison in Jordan, before being sent to the U.S. prison camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In 2003, Mr. Slahi said, he was initially subjected to temperature extremes, beatings, sexual humiliation and threats to have his mother shipped to Cuba for interrogation. "I yes-ed every accusation my interrogators made," he told lawyers.

The "special interrogation plan" devised against the suspect is believed to be detailed in a 2005 report by Air Force Lieutenant-General Randall Schmidt, who investigated abuse claims. While not named in that report, defence lawyers say they are sure Mr. Slahi is the detainee whose case led to soldiers being disciplined for threatening a suspect's family.

The veracity of complaints that female soldiers "removed their tops ... and rubbed themselves against" the same detainee in a bid to get him to talk were left undetermined.

A U.S. military prosecutor has walked away from the Slahi case on principle, saying he believes the abuse accounts to be credible and alarming. Mr. Slahi has testified he has been treated "almost perfect" since 2004, when he was given "a TV and lots of comfort items."

A Pentagon spokesman declined to discuss details of the case, but said "we treat all detainees humanely." While some soldiers have been disciplined, the spokesman added, no investigation has found "any policy that ever condoned abuse."

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