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Habeas Schmabeas (Al Dosari)

Habeas Schmabeas was the 10 March 2006 installment of the popular NPR series This American Life. This broadcast contained some testimony of prisoner abuse at Guantánamo. The sources of this testimony were a number of Guantánamo prisoners, including Badruzzan Badr (Badr Zaman Badr), Abdullah al Noaimi, Murat Karnaz (Murat Kurnaz), and Juma Mohammed Abdul Latif Al Dosari (Jumah Al Dossari). This testimony was given either directly by the prisoners, or else, indirectly, through their lawyers (Joe Margulies, Baher Azmy, and Jonathan Colangelo-Bryan).

In addition to these individuals, the excerpts below mention This American Life host Ira Glass, reporter Jack Hitt, and US Navy Rear Admiral John Hutson (Judge Advocate till 2000).

Habeas Schmabeas was produced by Chicago Public Radio (WBEZ Chicago), and was distributed by Public Radio International.

Herewith the testimony of Juma Mohammed Abdul Latif Al Dosari.

Physical Abuse

(HS6) HITT: We tried out many of our new interrogation techniques on Jumah Al Dossari. Colangelo-Bryan met with him many times and catalogued what was done to him. Al Dossari said that Americans forced him to the ground and urinated on him. We put out our cigarettes on him. We shocked him with an electric device. We spat on him. We poured a hot cup of tea on his head. We told him "We brought you here to kill you." We beat him until he vomited blood. We threatened to have him raped. We dressed him in shorts and left him in a frigid, air conditioned room. We abandoned him in another room with no water. We invited him to drink from his toilet bowl, which he did. We wrapped him in an Israeli flag. We told him that we would hold him forever, and that we would send him to Egypt to be tortured. On a different day, we chained him to the floor and cut off his clothes while a female MP entered the room. We dripped what we said was menstrual blood on his body. When he spat at us, we smeared this blood on his face. We kissed the cross around our neck and said "This is a gift from Christ for you Muslims." We videotaped the entire episode. There’s no way to confirm that all this happened to Al Dossari. But other prisoners and officials at Guantanamo have described variations of every technique on the list, including the menstrual blood, the Israeli flag, the references to Christianity, the beatings, the sexual humiliation. [Al Dossari is interrogated still, about once a month. During one visit last winter, he asked Colangelo-Bryan, "What can I do to keep myself from going crazy?" A few months later, during a meeting, Al Dossari asked to go to the bathroom. Colangelo-Bryan and the MP stepped outside the hut and waited. After five minutes, Colangelo-Bryan got concerned. He cracked the door open.] COLANGELO-BRYAN: When I opened the door, the first thing I saw was a pool of blood on the floor in front of me. I then looked up and saw a figure – hanging. I yelled to the MPs for help. They then began to cut down the noose around Jumah’s neck. HITT: It wasn’t Al Dossari’s first suicide attempt. COLANGELO-BRYAN: About three weeks later, I was back in Guantanamo. Jumah said to me that he didn’t want to kill himself without an outside witness. His fear was that if he died, and only the military knew, nobody would’ve known what happened (Chicago Public Radio 2006).

Sexual Abuse

See HS6.

Psychological Abuse

See HS6.

Legal Abuse

See HS6.


Abuse See HS6.

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