Slithi: Allegations of Abuse, ARB, 2006
There were American airplanes circling around in Jalalabad throwing pieces of papers <sic> stating that whoever captured an Arab would get $5000. In Afghanistan, there were opponents of the Taliban. When these people captured an Arab, they either sold him or stole his belongings and killed him. THe opponents of the Taliban have killed 3,000 [people] between Pakistanis and Arabs. They put them inside a closed container and left them there until they suffocated. It seems like another detainee had told this story. I was able to escape because there was a little hole in the container and I was able to breathe. There were too many people harming the population. I had to leave because I feared for my life.
Assisting Military Officer (for detainee): In response to the statement that the detainee has repeatedly assaulted and harassed Guantanamo Bay military police and interrogators, the detainee disagreed. he stated that the guards had insulted him on several occasions in an effort to provoke him, and felt compelled to respond to such treatment. He also stated that the civilian interrogators were arrogant and rude to him, and he told camp officials that he did not want to be interrogated by them and that he preferred to be interrogated by military personnel. He also stated that he had been interrogated when he had one hand free and was sitting close to the interrogator, where he could have assaulted his interrogator but did not. he stated that he nas never assaulted any interrogators.
Detainee (through translator): You can see in my file that I do not have any problems with interrogators. My hands were always free while sitting next to the interrogators. I got cut on my way over here [showing his right ankle]. Do you think this is humane that they treated me this way?
Presiding Officer: Are the shackles loose enough niw so you are not being cut? [The detainee did have abrasions on his right heel.]
Detainee (through translator): When I left my cell [on the way to the ARB], the iron [shackles] was directly against my flesh. When I got to the room [waiting room prior to the ARB proceeding], I politely asked the guards to make it loose. They said no. I adjusted the pin myself to make the iron loose. How do you expect someone not to react to such treatment? I show respect to people who respect me just like in this room [referring to the Board]. I was at Camp 5, being interrogated by two men. One of them was a big African American and he hit me with a little refrigerator [dormitory size] even though I was shackled and handcuffed. That same interrogator hit me with an iron chair in my eye.
Board Member: Did these assaults cause any injuries to you?
Detainee (through translator): Yes. I don’t know whether my injuries have been recorded in my medical file.
Board Member: Did you bleed from these assaults?
Detainee (through translator): Yes.
Board Member: In what part of you body did you bleed?
Detainee (through translator): My eye [pointing above his right eyebrow]. Another detainee had asked the interrogator the reason behind my injury and the interrogator responded that it was in self-defense. That’s a lie. I was in the interrogation room, with only one hand cuffed and one foot shackled. That interrogator came forward to shake my hand. The door was secured with codes and interrogator hit me with a chair. If the interrogator had problems with me why did I only have one hand cuffed and one foot shackled during the interrogation? Also, why did he shake my hand? The interrogator lied about what happened. If it were true that I assaulted an interrogator, I would have seriously injured him because I am a kick boxer.
Presiding Officer: This occurred around August , September 2005?
Detainee (through translator): Approximately.
Presiding Officer: I will look into that.
Detainee (through translator): I was in my cellblock, N24, in isolation. A block sergeant was distributing food and instead of putting the food on the table, he put it on the floor.
Some detainees did not eat. I told this block sergeant that one day, referring to judgment day, he will regret this.
Presiding Officer: Was the block sergeant hiding the food?
Detainee (through translator): There are two openings on the cellblock, the appropriate way is to use the upper one for food, but this block sergeant used the bottom one and put the food on the floor. I ate mine with no problems, but other detainees did not eat. I told the block sergeant that there will come a day when he will pay for this type of treatment. I meant on judgment day.
Presiding Officer: Did the other detainees not eat because they did not want to or because the block sergeant did not feed them?
Detainee (through translator): They did not want to accept food from the bottom door. It was degrading to them.
Detainee (through translator): I want to discuss some human rights issues. For fifteen days, I have not showered or changed my outfit. I was deprived of soap, toothbrush and shampoo. I was caught with these items and they referred to them as contraband. I am embarrassed by this. When I hear contraband, I think of cigarettes not toiletries. I just wanted to clean myself.
Detainee (through translator): Since I have met the official [referring to the Board] I have a message. The detainees are under a lot of pressure. If a cup is full of water, it may overflow. The fact is that they assault all these detainees. One detainee cannot move his finger. Sometimes when a person is praying, the guards come in and want him to move behind the line to take the garbage out. A detainee was praying and couldn’t discontinue his prayer. Since the detainee was praying, the guard brought six other armed guards in and destroyed the entire cell just to pick up the garbage. The guards have gone in somebody else’s cell and have broken his back. As a result, he became handicapped and went to his country in a wheelchair.
Presiding Officer: So, you would like the guards to treat you with some dignity and respect and you would give back the same.
Detainee (through translator): These guards are the ones who assault all the detainees. If a detainee has done something, then it’s OK to punish him. But if he hasn’t done anything, don’t just assault him. The guards tried to break someone else’s finger over insignificant things like taking the garbage out. If a person doesn’t fear another, he should fear God. It’s time for my prayer.