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Report on Torture, Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment of Prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. (Al Dossari)

In July 2006, The New York Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) published its Report on Torture, Cruel, Inhuman, and Degrading Treatment of Prisoners at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. This report is based on accounts drawn directly from habeas counsels’ unclassified notes reflecting prisoner statements made to counsel during in-person interviews conducted at Guantánamo beginning in the Fall of 2004. Some information for that report was taken also from public sources compiled in Cecili Thompson Williams & Kristine A. Huskey, Detention, Interrogation, and Torture at Guantánamo Bay: Materials and Case Files, a report published by the law firm of Shearman and Sterling LLP in October 2005. The testimony by or about Mr. Juma Mohammed Abdul Latif Al Dosari in the CCR report can be found below.

(CCR15) On one occasion, while in the interrogation room, an MP trained a rifle directly on Mr. Al Dossari at close range, despite the fact that Mr. Al Dossari was shackled to the floor. On another occasion, an interrogator in civilian clothing threatened to send Mr. Al Dossari to a prison with murderers, where he said Mr. Al Dossari would be raped. At a subsequent interrogation, Mr. Al Dossari was told that it was known that he was a low-level al Qaeda soldier and that if he admitted this, he would spend five to ten years in prison. If he did not confess, Mr. Al Dossari was told, he would spend 50 years or perhaps the rest of his life in jail. During another interrogation, a woman Mr. Al Dossari believes was of Egyptian origin banged Mr. Al Dossari’s head on a table. Mr. Al Dossari was shackled by a chain around his waist. The chain was pulled so tight that it caused him to vomit (Center for Constitutional Rights 2006, 10).

(CCR16) As of late 2005, Mr. Al Dossari had been held in isolation in Camp Delta, India Block, and Camp Five since early 2004 (Center for Constitutional Rights 2006, 17).

(CCR17) When the IRF team arrived, it found Mr. Al Dossari lying on his stomach with his hands on his back. Nonetheless, an MP named Smith burst into the cage and jumped on Mr. Al Dossari’s back wearing full riot gear. According to other detainees who viewed this incident, Smith weighed approximately 240 pounds. At least two other men held Mr. Al Dossari by the legs. MP Smith began to choke him with his hands, while another repeatedly hit his head on the floor. While being beaten, Mr. Al Dossari lost consciousness. Former Guantánamo detainees from the United Kingdom who witnessed the incident later told Mr. Al Dossari that the IRF team held his face on display for the video camera after he had lost consciousness. When the cage was hosed down later, the water ran red with blood. Mr. Al Dossari later asked Smith why Smith had beaten him. Smith replied, “because I’m Christian” (Center for Constitutional Rights 2006, 22).

(CCR18) Al Dossarin was then taken to an interrogation room in the Orange Building in Camp Delta. Adjacent to this interrogation room was a computer room. The door to the computer room was open when Mr. Al Dossari was brought into the interrogation room and shackled to the floor. Through the door Mr. Al Dossari saw a man and woman who were naked and having sex on a table in the computer room. The MPs who brought Mr. Al Dossari into the interrogation room observed this as well although they quickly left after shackling Mr. Al Dossari. After several minutes, the man got up from the table and removed a condom that he had been wearing. He gave Mr. Al Dossari a “thumbs-up” gesture and asked “good?” The man and woman then dressed and came into the interrogation room. The man showed Mr. Al Dossari pictures of people wearing traditional Saudi dress. He asked if Mr. Al Dossari could tell him anything about the people in the pictures. He said that if Mr. Al Dossari provided any information Mr. Al Dossari could have sex with his “girlfriend” and indicated the woman. Mr. Al Dossari did not respond and after approximately 30 minutes of further questioning the man and woman left. Mr. Al Dossari had never seen these individuals before this incident and has not seen them since (Center for Constitutional Rights 2006, 25).

(CCR19) Mr. Al Dossari, the prisoner who recently tried to commit suicide during his lawyer’s visit, described exceptional abuse while in U.S. custody in Kandahar. He alleges that U.S. soldiers urinated on prisoners and burned them with cigarettes and that he was made to walk barefoot over broken glass and his head was pushed into the ground, into the glass. Mr. Al Dossari further reports that during an interrogation, interrogators shocked him with an electric device and poured a hot liquid over his head. When he asked for a doctor, they spat on him and replied, “We brought you here to kill you.” At night, he said the soldiers would line him up with other prisoners and threaten to shoot them if any moved. If they did move, though not shot, prisoners were beaten. In addition, he claims he saw an American soldier throw a Qur’an into a bucket used as a collective toilet for prisoners in his tent (Center for Constitutional Rights 2006, 28).

Primary Sources

Joshua Colangelo-Bryan (2005) Guantánamo Bay Detainee Statements, Jum’ah Moham­med AbdulLatif Al Dossari, Isa Ali Abdulla Al Murbati, Abdullah Al Noaimi and Adel Kamel Abdulla Haji.

What appears to be the same incident is also the subject of an FBI memo (dated June 7, 2002, but referring to an incident that occurred “three or four weeks ago”). The FBI memo notes that the prisoner “had what appeared to be a recent wound on the bridge of his nose.” FOIA Document 3855, (last visited June 25, 2006). Mr. Al Dossari’s lawyer corroborates that the prisoner has “a prominent scar” on his nose that is consistent with his account. See Center for Constitutional Rights 2006, 47).