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Testimony of Omar Deghayes at Two Sides/One Story Tour (Cardiff)

[…] like detainee 727, like another detainee [an] Algerian detainee. There are many who have lost their parts of their—their legs were amputated. He needed an operation—for his leg and they amputated a leg. Because the doctors used to say to people who were imprisoned there that, ‘Our job is not to help you, is not to give you any cure. If you have any pain, any wounds, the most we can do for you is amputate your leg, amputate your hand, amputate. There is no cure. We can give you painkillers if you want, we can give you drugs if you want.’ And they give people drugs, and some people became addicted to those drugs, and then used and subjected to—interrogation. They say more and more drugs, speak to your interrogator and things like that.

The doctors worked close, hand in hand, with interrogators. The doctors in Guantánamo Bay left their mission and message, which is the message of mercy, to work with interrogators into subjecting people to torture and using their profession to cause more harm and pain to detainees. And if you needed any help they would say to you, ‘Ask your interrogators and we can only help you then, if you cooperate,’ as they call it, ‘with your interrogators.’ You could lose—limbs like [inaudible] You could lose hands or eyes, like—You could be subjected to deprivation of sleep.You could be drowned by water or be — used, water, drowning is used against you, so you stop resisting, as they call it.

Or psychiatric torture that are more, more, more worse, more worse than the physical torture. The psychiatric torture that was used in Guantánamo Bay would last with many many of those who were imprisoned there for their lives. The way they used them, how they used their letters, family letters. How they used many many things. Sexual abuse, racism, hunger, nudity. People were forced to be nude. Overflow of toilets. Sometimes you’re in a cell and overflow of toilets; you have to live with a overflow of toilets. Floodlights were 24 hours for six years. If you imagine a small cell with floodlights and you have to live inside that day and night within that glaring lights for six years sometimes, some of the people who are there now for seven years, this is their seventh year. With me, a personal search, twice every day. Harassment. Possibility every day of five guards coming into your cell and beating you up. Maybe breaking your nose, ribs, and fingers, and arms, as they have done to myself. Worms in your food. Your words that you say in interrogation are twisted against you and used against you. There are no laws. The land of no laws, where the laws are the whims of interrogators and guards. Simple guards, not even officers, ranking officers. Endless new rules that make no sense, other than to intimidate and humiliate people imprisoned there. A tax on your religion and your beliefs, dragged again and again for one session after another to be interrogated in darkness, in night, in day. You don’t know whenever. They knock on your doors and they tell you to get ready for interrogation. You’re dragged to be interrogated. By different sorts, of all sorts of agencies. The CIA, the FBI, the [inaudible], the intelligence, the military intelligence, the MI5, the MI6, the French interrogated us there, the Spanish interrogated some people there, the Italian interrogated people there, the Libyans interrogated people there, the Moroccans, the Tunisians, the Italians.Everyone, everyone made use of Guantánamo Bay.

Fraud and embezzlement went on. Every time the guards, every time a batch of guards recognizes that these people are human beings and what they were told about—they were the people who—committed September 11th, just when they realized, just when they realized that all this is false and untrue, because they come to speak to many detainees, they are moved, and another new batch of guards are brought in. Embezzlement and fraud.Dick Cheney’s company in Guantánamo Bay, like Chris will tell you from the other side of the barbed wire, has been working there again and again. Sixty million for just one prison, Camp 5, which is block of concrete, is nothing other than a block of concrete. And none of the other ventures, and other ventures, since Guantánamo Bay was opened they never, Haliburton, the company of Dick Cheney has never left that place. Some of those things that come for us come from Houston, Texas. Obviously you might recognize [inaudible]. Subjected to humiliation, photographed, stamped to the wall, fingers stamped, and eyes exposed to all forms of humiliation and cruelty. Reduced to a number, chained to the ground, chained sometimes in a stressed position, hanged sometimes from your hands,chained. Subjected to all sorts of humiliation and degradation. Always say even your whispers are listened to. There are listening devices, sound devices, they listen to, and everything you say is listened to. Dirt in the food and the water and so on.

This brings me to the last point which I wanted to mention, which is—that I promised the detainees there when I left that I would mention them every time I stand in person speaking of Guantánamo Bay, to bring attention to what is happening to them. Detainees there now in Guantánamo Bay today, as we speak, are in hunger strike, and this is maybe the fourth or fifth hunger strike. Most of them are on the hunger strike and most of them are in very bad, critical conditions. Binyam Mohamed himself, as they said, if he was ever released like one of them said, he might be released in coffins because of his really, really serious condition. The military lawyer has seen him and she says that his condition is very very bad. He’s only bones and skin. And many many people are on the hunger strike, and when we hunger strike some people there have been hunger striking there more than one to two years, and they were force fed. Force fed, if you imagine, is a tube pushed through your nose going down to the throat, going down to the stomach. And then, you know, then some kind of liquid is put into your stomach, and this is done to you twice. And you can imagine the pain. Done without using any antiseptics because they want them to stop the hunger strike, and the doctors use the hunger strike to torture people. And they pull it out, they pull the tube out so hardly it comes out with blood and pus and then they put it again, they put it down into another detainee’s stomach, without even cleaning it. And this is, this is the doctors who did that. No one else, not the detainees, not the interrogators, not the guards. These are the doctors. That’s why one doctor David Nichols in Birmingham, and another man, a lawyer, saw them and pressurized them, and spoke about this, and this was a little bit reduced.

Binyam Mohamed is a very nice young man, I know, a humorous young man, spirited, very good spirit. He used to help others in Guantánamo Bay to lift their spirits, but now he is, as I say, in critical condition. He is presently on hunger strike, like many many others are, and remains in solitary confinement. His medical and physical condition is of great concern.

Thank you very much for listening, and I hope you continue to campaign to release our other prisoners.