Claims Of Abuse
At Gitmo Revealed

By Helen McCormack
The Independent - UK
Confidential papers detailing tribunal hearings held at Guantanamo Bay have revealed a further raft of allegations of US mistreatment of detainees held at the detention camp.
Detainees, including Jamil el-Banna, the Jordanian national who has lived in Britain since 1994 and is still held at the camp, alleged a range of mistreatment during tribunal hearings. One man said that the authorities' interrogation practices had rendered him incontinent. Another alleges that dogs were used as a means of intimidation.
The transcripts of tribunal hearings were released by the US Department of Defence after an application under the US Freedom of Information Act by the American news agency Associated Press.
The agency said it had received 1,000 pages of documents after a lawsuit with the US government. It was not clear whether allegations of mistreatment shown in transcripts of tribunals had been either logged or investigated, the news agency said.
In some cases, the tribunal papers showed detainees making an allegation with no evidence of thorough questioning thereafter. One detainee, whose name and nationality were blacked out, along with many of names in the transcripts, said his medical problems from alleged abuse have not been taken seriously. "Americans hit me and beat me up so badly I believe I'm sexually dysfunctional," he said.
"I can't control my urination, and sometimes I put toilet paper down there so I won't wet my pants. I point to where the pain is. ... I think they take it as a joke and they laugh." The tribunal president promised to take up the man's medical complaint, but in five pages of questioning, never brought up the alleged abuse, the agency reported.
Another prisoner said he was abused and forced into making a confession. "I was in a lot of pain, so I said I had [military] training. At that point, with all my suffering, if he had asked me if I was Osama bin Laden, I would have said yes," he said.
A 24-year-old said a US interrogator "threatened me with a gun to my mouth, to try to make me say something". The tribunal president asked him about the alleged torture. When he heard it was purportedly carried out at a US facility in Kabul by an American, he moved on to other questions, the agency reported.
A military spokeswoman, Captain Beci Brenton, said the panel was charged with determining whether the men were enemy combatants - not with investigating abuse allegations, but it was obliged to report the allegations.
©2005 Independent News & Media (UK) Ltd.



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