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News from Guantanamo Bay

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  • Zafar Khan
    Complete News coverage on Guantanamo at: http://www.islamawareness.net/Persecution/Guantanamo/ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 7 Afghans
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 12, 2006
      Complete News coverage on Guantanamo at:

      7 Afghans Released from Guantánamo Say They Saw Abuse
      Published: February 9, 2006


      LASHKAR GAH, Afghanistan, Feb. 9 — Seven Afghans have
      been released from American detention in Guantánamo
      Bay, Cuba, and were freed in Kabul today, where they
      spoke to reporters, contending that they had witnessed
      abuse and desecration of the Koran.

      The prisoners, ranging in age from about 30 to about
      50, come from the southern and eastern provinces of
      Helmand, Uruzgan, Khost and Paktika. All had been
      detained for three years or more, following the
      American intervention in Afghanistan in late 2001.
      Dressed in white T-shirts and jeans, the prisoners
      looked pale but otherwise healthy.

      The men said they were aware of a widespread hunger
      strike among prisoners but that they had not taken
      part. One said he had joined in a protest against
      desecration of the Koran by prison guards.

      The chief of the Afghan government commission for
      reconciliation, Sebaghatullah Mojadeddi, greeted the
      prisoners and told them they were free to return to
      civilian life. He contended that some had committed no
      crime and that others who might have been guilty of
      wrongdoing had been detained longer than they should
      have been.

      The former Taliban ambassador to Pakistan, Abdul
      Salaam Zaeef, who was himself detained in Guantánamo
      for four years and released last year, also greeted
      the prisoners and said it should be the government's
      priority to secure the release of the remaining 97
      Afghans in Guantánamo.

      "They are mostly innocent and were not related to the
      Taliban and Al Qaeda," Mr. Zaeef contended. "There is
      no court there, no law and no charges."

      Reporters were allowed to question the men. Sharbat
      Khan, 36, from Khost, said he had been held for three
      and a half years. "The behavior of the Americans was
      not good in the beginning," he said. "They insulted
      the Holy Koran and all of us prisoners started a
      demonstration and they used a kind of gas to make us
      calm down."

      Another prisoner from Uruzgan province, Khudaidad, a
      laborer who uses only one name, said his American
      guards would withhold medicines at times, and would
      sometimes serve bad food as a form of punishment.

      Khan Zaman, 45, from the eastern province of Khost,
      who said he spent four years and three months in
      custody, said he knew about the current hunger strike
      but had not taken part. He said that Afghan prisoners
      were not participating in the hunger strike.

      Abdul Waheed Wafa contributed reporting for this
      article from Kabul, Afghanistan

      US military 'force fed Guantanamo Bay inmates'
      By Ben Fox
      Published: 10 February 2006


      US military officials at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba,
      allegedly strapped hunger-striking prisoners into
      restraint chairs for hours to feed them through tubes,
      according to a report in The New York Times.

      The newspaper, citing unnamed military officials, said
      tougher measures came in after authorities concluded
      some of the prisoners were determined to kill
      themselves. The apparent result has been a drop in the
      number of hunger strikers.

      Only four detainees were still on a hunger strike,
      down from 84 at the end of December, the chief
      spokesman for the Guantanamo detainee operation,
      Lt-Col Jeremy Martin, said.

      Lawyers called the treatment abusive. "It is clear
      that the government has ended the hunger strike
      through the use of force," Thomas B Wilner, a lawyer
      at Shearman & Sterling in Washington, told the

      Force-feeding breaks protest at Guantánamo

      · Lawyers say abuse has left only four on hunger
      · Pentagon denies policy of punishing detainees

      Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington
      Friday February 10, 2006
      The Guardian


      The Pentagon faced a groundswell of protest about its
      treatment of detainees at Guantánamo yesterday after
      it emerged that a hunger strike had been broken by
      force-feeding inmates and putting them in restraints.

      Five months after inmates at Guantánamo began the
      strike to protest against their indefinite detention
      at the US naval base only four remain on hunger
      strike. Three of those are being force-fed with tubes
      through the nose, a Pentagon spokesman said.

      He denied charges that the Pentagon was trying to
      break the hunger strike by punishing the protesters.
      "They are not trying to reduce the hunger strike, but
      they are going to feed people to protect life," he
      said. The feeding was administered by medical
      professionals in "a humane and compassionate manner"
      using the same process as in civilian prisons.
      The spokesman said the men were stable, and their
      condition was being monitored by doctors - a claim
      disputed by lawyers who have recently visited
      Guantánamo. The lawyers described the four hunger
      strikers as being extremely ill, and said that one was
      close to death.

      The lawyers also accused the military of trying to
      break the protest through painful force-feeding, or by
      subjecting the hunger strikers to isolation and
      restraints, to avoid the risk of detainees committing
      suicide by starvation.

      "The military at Guantánamo has reacted extremely
      violently against the detainees who have been involved
      in the hunger strike protest. They have come down very
      harshly," said Gitanjali Gutierrez, a lawyer for the
      Centre for Constitutional Rights, which represents
      more than 100 inmates. Ms Gutierrez visited the base
      last month.

      In court documents inmates have accused their jailers
      of being overly rough in the insertion and removal of
      feeding tubes - a charge the Pentagon denies. In
      addition, the New York Times reported yesterday that
      guards had strapped detainees into restraint chairs
      for hours at a time to prevent them from vomiting
      after being force-fed. Other hunger strikers have been
      placed in isolation for long periods, or deprived of
      blankets or books.

      The newspaper said the tougher measures were imposed
      in recent weeks amid fears at the Pentagon that some
      of the prisoners were determined to kill themselves.
      Since the resort to restraints and forcefeeding there
      has been a steep drop in the number of hunger
      strikers, from 84 in December to four.

      "They are abusing them psychologically, they are
      abusing them physically to the point where it becomes
      too painful to continue in the strike. They harass
      them until they begin to eat again," it claimed.

      Amnesty International called for independent medical
      experts to be allowed to visit the hunger strikers.

      "These fresh reports concerning the cruel treatment of
      hunger strikers are disturbing," Amnesty's UK
      director, Kate Allen, said.

      There have been periodic hunger strikes at Guantánamo
      since the Bush administration established the prison
      in January 2002 to hold suspects in the war on terror
      beyond the oversight of the US courts. However, since
      last year the hunger strikes have intensified, with
      the inmates reportedly in despair that they will ever
      be released.

      At the height of the protest last September more than
      130 prisoners were on hunger strike, according to the
      Pentagon. However, detainees' lawyers fear the true
      numbers are even higher because the US military will
      only consider a detainee is on hunger strike if he
      misses nine consecutive meals.

      The Pentagon spokesman would not be drawn yesterday on
      why so many detainees had abandoned their protest.
      However, one official said: "The hunger strike issue
      is more of a publicity ploy than anything else.
      Al-Qaida training manuals tell them what type of
      resistance to offer when detained."

      He added: "Maybe they started eating again since it
      didn't work."
    • Zafar Khan
      Guantanamo man tells of torture http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4769604.stm A Kuwaiti man being held at Guantanamo Bay has told the BBC in a rare
      Message 2 of 2 , Mar 7, 2006
        Guantanamo man tells of 'torture'


        A Kuwaiti man being held at Guantanamo Bay has told
        the BBC in a rare interview that the force-feeding of
        hunger strikers amounts to torture.

        Fawzi al-Odah said hunger strikers were strapped to a
        chair and force-fed through a tube three times a day.

        A senior US official denied the use of torture in
        Guantanamo Bay.

        Mr Odah's comments, relayed by his lawyer in answer to
        BBC questions, came as another inmate launched a legal
        challenge to the force-feeding policy.

        The case is being brought on behalf of Mohammed
        Bawazir, a Yemeni who has also been held there since

        The action is the first test for a new law explicitly
        outlawing torture of terrorism suspects, which
        President George W Bush signed in December.

        New testimony

        The BBC Today programme's Jon Manel submitted
        questions for Mr Odah to his lawyer, Tom Wilner, who
        has access to the camp.

        There was no opportunity for the BBC to challenge Mr
        Odah's responses.

        Mr Odah, who has been held at the base since 2002, was
        one of 84 inmates at Guantanamo who went on hunger
        strike in December. Just four are still refusing food.

        Speaking to the BBC, US state department official
        Colleen Graffey said all detainees were afforded
        regular status reviews and offered the opportunity to
        renounce violence.

        Through his lawyer, Mr Odah described his treatment
        during his hunger strike.

        "First they took my comfort items away from me. You
        know, my blanket, my towel, my long pants, then my
        shoes. I was put in isolation for 10 days.

        "They came in and read out an order. It said if you
        refuse to eat, we will put you on the chair [for force

        He told how detainees were given "formulas" to force
        them to empty their bowels and were strapped to a
        metal chair three times a day, where a tube was
        inserted to administer food.

        "One guy, a Saudi, told me that he had once been
        tortured in Saudi Arabia and that this metal chair
        treatment was worse than any torture he had ever
        endured or could imagine," Mr Odah said.


        Mr Odah told the BBC that he felt like an old man
        despite being only 29.

        He described a regime where young military guards
        routinely beat detainees who caused problems.

        "If anything bad happens to the United States anywhere
        in the world, they immediately react to us and treat
        us badly, like animals," he said.

        "I'm always tired. I have pain in my kidneys. I have
        trouble breathing. I have pain in my heart and am
        short of breath. I have trouble urinating and having
        bowel movements.

        "Death in this situation is better than being alive
        and staying here without hope," Mr Odah added.

        The US has said it is holding Mr Odah because he is a
        dangerous "enemy combatant", who travelled through
        Afghanistan with the Taleban, fired AK-47 rifles while
        at an al-Qaeda training camp and fought against US and
        coalition forces.

        He dismissed the general allegations, branding them as
        "rubbish" and "absolutely untrue".

        However, he refused to elaborate, insisting he would
        only discuss the accusations against at a court

        New rules

        In Washington, lawyers for Mohammed Bawazir, who has
        now ended his hunger strike, said the force-feeding
        inflicted "unbearable pain" on detainees.

        The BBC's Justin Webb, in Washington, says the legal
        challenge may be a shot in the dark.

        Under the terms of the new law it is not even clear
        whether courts have the right to hear this case, he

        The lawyers are arguing that the new anti-torture
        rules which Mr Bush signed in December outlaw this

        The UN Human Rights Commission said recently that it
        regarded force-feeding at Guantanamo as a form of
        torture, a charge the US firmly has repeatedly denied.


        Exclusive: '20th Hijacker' Claims That Torture Made
        Him Lie
        Mohammad al-Qahtani, held in Guantanamo and touted by
        the U.S. as a major informant, is taking it all back,
        his lawyer says. PLUS: for the first time, TIME.com
        publishes a secret, 84-page record of his
        Posted Friday, Mar. 03, 2006


        Of the roughly 500 detainees held at the U.S. prison
        camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, none is more notorious
        than Mohammad al-Qahtani, the so-called "20th
        hijacker." Only weeks before 9/11, he tried to enter
        the U.S. illegally in Orlando, Fla., while the plot's
        leader, Mohammad Atta, waited to pick him up in the
        airport parking lot. As the Pentagon has said, "Had
        al-Qahtani succeeded in entering the U.S., it is
        believed he would have been on United Airlines Flight
        93, the only hijacked aircraft that had four hijackers
        instead of five [and the one that ended up crashing in
        a Pennsylvania field instead of striking the White
        House, its widely believed intended target]."

        Last June, TIME published excerpts from a highly
        classified, 84-page log minutely detailing
        al-Qahtani's interrogation at Guantanamo. Now, as an
        increasing number of detainees mount legal challenges
        to their incarceration, TIME is making the record of
        al-Qahtani's treatment available to the public in its
        entirety (except for some names which have been
        redacted) for the first time. Back in June 2005, the
        Pentagon insisted that al-Qahtani had provided vital
        intelligence, focusing on key al-Qaeda leaders and
        some 30 fellow prisoners at Guantanamo whom he
        identified as Osama bin Laden's bodyguards.

        Now, in an eyewitness account of al-Qahtani at
        Guantanamo, his recently appointed American lawyer
        tells TIME that al-Qahtani has repudiated all of his
        previous statements — claiming they were extracted
        under brutal torture. And that repudiation is sure to
        fuel the growing number of challenges in American
        courts from the detainees at Guantanamo whom
        al-Qahtani fingered.

        For most of his confinement at Guantanamo, al-Qahtani,
        like other "enemy combatants," has been in legal
        limbo, never charged with a crime, unrepresented by
        legal counsel and without any recourse to U.S. courts.
        But a source has told TIME that last year his father
        in Saudi Arabia approached the Center for
        Constitutional Rights, a New York-based nonprofit
        organization, which has provided al-Qahtani with a

        That lawyer, Gitanjali S. Gutierrez, a CCR staff
        attorney, has already filed a challege in federal
        court, in the District of Columbia, to al-Qahtani's
        detention. She has also visited him twice at
        Guantanamo, first in December 2005 and again in
        January of this year. After spending more than 30
        hours talking with him through an interpreter, she
        told TIME that al-Qahtani today appears to be a broken
        man, fearful and at times disoriented — someone who
        has "painfully described how he could not endure the
        months of isolation, torture and abuse, during which
        he was nearly killed, before making false statements
        to please his interrogators."

        When al-Qahtani got off his plane in Orlando in August
        2001, he was refused entry to the U.S., deported, and
        captured in Afghanistan only a few months after 9/11 —
        as Osama bin Laden fled his mountain sanctuary at Tora
        Bora. Al-Qahtani was then brought to Guantanamo where,
        according to the Pentagon, he admitted that he had
        been sent to the U.S. by Khaled Sheik Mohammed,
        architect of the 9/11 attacks, and that he had met
        Osama bin Laden on several occasions. Al-Qahtani also
        confirmed that he had received terrorist instruction
        at two al-Qaeda training camps and met with numerous
        senior al-Qaeda leaders.

        But from the standpoint of cases currently under
        review in U.S. federal courts, al-Qahtani's most
        significant disclosure was informing on some 30 fellow
        Guantanamo prisoners. The Pentagon quickly used his
        statements about those prisoners before special
        military tribunals to justify their indefinite
        detention as "enemy combatants."

        Lawyers for detainees fingered by al-Qahtani
        strenuously object to that evidence. And a growing
        number are challenging the government, claiming that
        al-Qahtani's information was extracted under torture
        and is, therefore, unreliable and inadmissible in

        But in a major case in the U.S. Court of Appeals for
        the District of Columbia to be argued on March 22 — a
        case that many observers believe will ultimately end
        up in front of the Supreme Court — the government is
        expected to argue that the reliability of statements
        like al-Qahtani's should not even be considered.

        Instead, government lawyers will seek to apply the
        Detainee Treatment Act, a controversial December 2005
        law sponsored by Senator Lindsay Graham of South
        Carolina, that would preclude extensive court review
        of Guantanamo detentions. The Detainee Treatment Act
        says that habeas corpus — the right of prisoners to
        have their detention legally justified to a U.S. court
        — does not apply to Guantanamo prisoners except on
        appeal. Detainee lawyers argue that the provision
        clashes with a 2001 Supreme Court ruling that opened
        the federal courts to any detainee held by the United
        States anywhere in the world.

        Questions surrounding the Detainee Treatment Act will
        also come before the Supreme Court on March 28, when
        lawyers for Salim Ahmad Hamdan, Osama bin Laden's
        alleged driver, challenge government attempts to put
        him on trial before a military commission. "The issue
        in this court case is critically important because if
        the government has its way, Guantanamo will be
        returned to a legal black hole," contends Eric M.
        Freedman, a professor of constitutional law at Hofstra
        University and legal consultant to detainees, though
        not al-Qahtani. "It would be an outrage if evidence
        being used to hold prisoners was extracted by
        unconscionable methods and that fact did not come to
        light in a court of law." For the Pentagon's part, a
        spokesperson told TIME that "it is longstanding
        Department of Defense policy to treat all detainees
        humanely." The detailed interrogation log of
        al-Qahtani seems to make clear that at the very least
        that policy has not always been followed and that the
        definition of humane treatment is up for debate.

        See the complete log of Interrogation at:

        Guantánamo detainee told Geneva rights 'irrelevant'

        · Tribunal proceedings revealed in US documents
        · Transcript shows Briton's clashes with colonel judge

        Vikram Dodd and Stephen Bates
        Monday March 6, 2006
        The Guardian


        A senior US military officer at Guantánamo Bay told a
        detainee that he did not care about international law
        and that the Geneva conventions did not apply to
        proceedings at the military prison, according to
        thousands of Pentagon documents released over the
        weekend by the US government after a court action by
        the Associated Press news agency.

        The outburst by the air force colonel came during a
        hearing to determine the status of Feroz Abbasi, a
        Briton held for more than two years without charge or
        trial, and who was released last year. The officer was
        presiding over a tribunal convened to decide whether
        detainees were enemy combatants, as alleged by the
        Bush administration. Critics dismissed the hearings,
        called combatant status review tribunals, as kangaroo

        During the hearing Mr Abbasi, originally from Croydon,
        south London, said he should be accorded prisoner of
        war status, and demanded his rights under
        international law and the Geneva conventions. The
        tribunal president, not named in the documents, says:
        "Once again, international law does not matter here.
        Geneva conventions do not matter here. What matters
        here ... [is] your actions while your were in
        The clash continues, with Mr Abbasi trying to raise
        the issue of his rights under international law. He
        and the tribunal president are recorded speaking over
        each other, until the latter says: "Mr Abbasi, your
        conduct is unacceptable ... I don't care about
        international law. I don't want to hear the words
        international law again. We are not concerned with
        international law. I am going to give give you one
        last opportunity..." Mr Abbasi was later removed and
        his case considered behind closed doors.

        The US government claims the Muslim faith of detainees
        has been respected at all times, but Mr Abbasi claimed
        in written evidence that a guard tried to feed him
        pork. He also claimed two guards had sex in front of
        him, that a male guard groped the breasts of a female
        colleague in front of him, and that he was tricked
        into praying towards America rather than towards
        Mecca. He also says he was drugged with a
        mind-altering chemical. The US military says it
        captured him on the battlefield in Afghanistan, and
        also claims he was recruited to fight for al-Qaida
        after attending the Finsbury Park mosque in north
        London where Abu Hamza preached. Mr Hamza is serving a
        seven-year sentence in Britain after being convicted
        of inciting murder and religious hatred.

        The released documents are transcripts of tribunals
        and reviews conducted at Guantánamo, Cuba. In the
        tribunals the detainees were presumed from the outset
        to be enemy combatants by the US military officers
        hearing their cases, had limited rights to call
        witnesses, had no lawyer, and were tried on the basis
        of hearsay evidence.

        The documents show detainees for the most part denying
        they were terrorists and claiming they were wrongly
        held without charge or trial; they also provide more
        names and detail regarding the total of detainees held
        by the US. One man was found with a gun in
        Afghanistan, while others range from peasant farmers
        to wealthy businessmen. Bisher al-Rawi, a British
        resident originally from Iraq, was held for
        association with the preacher Abu Qatada, accused of
        providing inspiration to those responsible for the
        September 11 2001 attacks on the US. He claimed to
        have being passing information to MI5, but was told by
        the tribunal president that the British government
        neither confirmed nor denied his story.

        Some 490 detainees remain at Guantánamo. Rowan
        Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, yesterday
        added his voice to criticism of Guantánamo Bay. In an
        interview with Sir David Frost for the BBC, the
        archbishop warned: "Any message given that any state
        can just override some of the basic habeas corpus-type
        provisions is going to be very welcome to tyrants
        elsewhere in the world, now and in the future."

        Extracts: Six prisoners' stories

        Here are six of the stories told in more than 5,000
        pages of unedited transcripts from 'enemy combatant'
        hearings, which have just been released by the

        Emad Abdalla, Student, from Yemen

        Mr Abdalla, 25, was captured at a university dorm in
        Faisalabad, where he was studying the Qur'an. He is
        accused of travelling to Afghanistan to participate in
        jihad. He spent 19 days in Afghanistan before being
        taken to Guantánamo Bay.

        Abdul Razak, Minister of commerce, Taliban government,

        Abdul Razak worked as the minister of commerce in the
        Taliban government. He said the Taliban had given him
        a civilian job because he had no military training.
        After the Taliban's fall, he said he took up farming,
        but months later Afghan authorities arrested him. At
        the time he had a Kalashnikov rifle, which his lawyer
        said he was carrying for protection. Razak said he did
        not oppose Afghan President Hamid Karzai's government.

        Fouad al-Rabia, Engineer, from Kuwait

        Fouad al-Rabia, 45, said he worked as an engineer for
        Kuwaiti Airways and is a part-owner of a health club.
        He acknowledged he saw Osama bin Laden four times
        while visiting Afghanistan in 2001 but denied
        accusations of providing money to al-Qaida. Rabia told
        the tribunal he returned to Afghanistan that October
        to gather evidence that would persuade people to
        support a relief effort there, but was handed over to
        the Northern Alliance.

        Kadir Khandan, Pharmacist, from Khowst, Afghanistan

        Kadir Khandan was accused of links to the Taliban and
        running a safe house for an explosive manufacturing
        cell in Khowst. Khandan told the tribunal he worked
        for the Karzai government and opposed the Taliban and
        that he was a pharmacist who had studied in Pakistan.
        He said explosives destroyed people and were "truly
        against my ideology". Khandan said he was tortured by
        US soldiers in Afghanistan. Later he said: "Here in
        Cuba, I have been treated nice. Overall it is fine

        Karam Khamis Sayd Khamsan, Soldier, from Yemen

        Karam Khamis Sayd Khamsan denied accusations of links
        to the Taliban and al-Qaida. He said a Yemeni drug
        dealer arranged to send him to Pakistan to act as
        human collateral in a drug deal. "He offered me some
        money because he knows ... I needed the money." He was
        detained in Pakistan.

        Zain ul-Abedin, Taxi driver, from Tajikistan

        Zain ul-Abedin (initially listed as Jumma Jan), was
        captured in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan, by coalition
        forces in 2003. He told the tribunal that US forces
        had arrested the wrong man. He is accused of being a
        Taliban and Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin leader, and of
        carrying out a mission in Tajikistan with al-Qaida.
        Associated Press

        Details of Camp Delta inmates released to public
        By Kim Sengupta
        Published: 06 March 2006


        The US government has been forced to release documents
        giving details of those being held at Guantanamo Bay
        after years of refusing to do so.

        The 5,000 pages of transcript were handed over by the
        Pentagon on the order of a judge in response to legal
        action brought under the Freedom of Information Act by
        the news agency Associated Press. Much of the Bush
        administration's "war on terror" remains shrouded in
        overwhelming secrecy. The US government has kept
        almost all information about the detainees secret
        since opening the prison in January 2002.

        The transcripts made public only reveal unclassified
        information. The detainees and their legal
        representatives are not allowed to know, for example,
        what other evidence the US authorities may have on

        However, even this limited glimpse into the closed
        world of Camp Delta shows the arbitrary nature of the
        arrests which led to hundreds being incarcerated,
        without charge, thousands of miles from home.

        The Bush administration dismisses the detainees'
        claims of innocence without trying them. "They're
        bomb-makers,'' Vice-President Dick Cheney said
        recently. "They're facilitators of terror. They're
        members of al-Qaida and the Taliban. If you let them
        out, they'll go back to trying to kill Americans."

        Bisher al-Rawi

        Bisher al-Rawi's family fled from Iraq to Britain 25
        years ago. His father was a prominent businessman who
        was arrested and tortured by the regime of Saddam
        Hussein, the "brutal dictator" George Bush and Tony
        Blair invaded Iraq to ovethrow.

        Mr al-Rawi was arrested in November 2002, with his
        brother, Wahab, while on a business trip to Gambia, in
        west Africa, to set up a peanut-oil processing plant.

        Wahab was subsequently released. Jamal al-Banna, a
        refugee from Jordan who lives in London with his wife
        and five children, was also arrested at the same time
        and is also incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay.

        Mr al-Rawi is accused of harbouring the Jordanian
        cleric Abu Qatada, described as Osama bin Laden's
        representative in Europe, in London, and also
        transporting the components of a "weapon of mass

        According to Mr al-Rawi he had been helping the
        Security Service (MI5) monitor extremists in Britain's
        Muslim community. The "mass destruction" equipment,
        say his lawyers, was a battery charger.

        After several months, he was flown out to Bagram
        airbase in Afghanistan. By March 2003, he had joined
        the 700 inmates at Guantanamo. He was taken for a lie
        detector test six weeks after he arrived, and passed

        Mr al-Rawi has been classified as an "enemy
        combatant", which, according to the Bush
        administration allows that he be denied the rights as
        a prisoner of war under the Geneva Convention.

        Mr al-Rawi claims that he was in regular contact with
        the Security Service (MI5) and had been monitoring
        Muslim extremists in Britain on their behalf. " On
        more than one occasion, after MI5 questioned me, I
        would go out to the community to find the answers," he
        said. "On three or four separate occasions, the
        questions involved Abu Qatada."

        According to the transcript, the judge at Mr al-Rawi's
        tribunal at Guantanamo Bay said: "The British
        Government didn't say they didn't have a relationship
        with you, they just would not confirm or deny it. That
        means I only have your word what happened."

        The British Government response, in effect a "no
        comment", was enough, said the judge, not to accept Mr
        al-Rawi's account.

        Mohammed Gul

        Mohammed Gul was arrested at his home in eastern
        Afghanistan. US and Afghan forces found a Kalashnikov
        rifle in his house, and that made him a suspect in
        attacks carried out by the Taliban.

        Mr Gul was accused of belonging to HIG, a terrorist
        organisation. He was captured at the same time as a
        recruiter for Pacha Khan, a renegade Pashtun
        Commander. Mr Gul denies belonging to HIG, and claims
        he had been working in Saudi Arabia as a driver for a
        supermarket and only came home to see his sick wife.

        Mr Gul insisted the gun was for self protection. "I am
        a poor person," Mr Gul told the tribunal. "I have a
        small piece of land."

        It is unusual for farmers in Afghanistan not to have
        guns. "They're all armed," said John Pike, director of
        Global Security. org a military policy think-tank
        based in Virginia. "If they weren't, they'd be in
        trouble. There are clan rivalries there. Without
        weapon they'd feel naked."

        Hafizullah Shah

        Mr Shah, another farmer, from the village of Galdon in
        Afghanistan, was arrested when he was walking through
        a bazaar. The US authorities say that Mr Shah was
        wearing an olive green military jacket and soldiers
        had spotted him with a group of men who had guns in
        their possession.

        It is easy to buy military clothes in Afghanistan, a
        country that has experienced 30 years of warfare. Mr
        Shah said: "I was just walking in the street and I was
        captured. The next thing I found out is I am sitting
        here in Guantanamo Bay."

        Salih Uyar

        Mr Uyar had travelled to Afghanistan from Turkey in
        2000. He is accused by the American authorities of
        staying with a known al-Qa'ida member in Kabul for two
        months before the war began and also of associating
        with a known radical Turkish religious group.

        One of the key planks of the case against Mr Uyar, 24
        at the time of his Guantanamo Bay tribunal, is that at
        the time of his capture he was wearing a Casio watch -
        a model, according to the US used in bomb-making.

        "If it's a crime to carry this watch, your own
        military personnel also carry this watch, too," Mr
        Uyar told the military tribunal. "Does that mean that
        they're just terrorists as well?" Mr Uyar also made
        trips to Syria. He insisted his purpose was to study
        Arabic and said he was in Afghanistan purely as a

        Abdul Hakim Bukhary

        A detainee from Saudi Arabia, Mr Bukhary is one of the
        few detainees who openly admitted he took up arms
        against US forces.

        Mr Bukhary told the tribunal at Guantanamo Bay that he
        had fought against the Russians in Afghanistan in the
        1980s - a conflict in which the US and Britain had
        subsidised the Mujahedin forces to which Mr Bukhary

        Mr Bukhary said that he had once again joined in the
        fight with his Muslim brothers in Afghanistan during
        the invasion by the US and Britain but has had a
        change of heart since being in custody. There is no
        indication in the transcript whether the tribunal
        believed him.

        Kadir Khandan

        Mr Khandan from Khowst, in Afghanistan, was accused of
        having links with the Taliban and of running a safe
        house for bomb-makers.

        Mr Khandan told the tribunal he had worked for the
        government of Hamid Karzai and opposed the Taliban. A
        pharmacist who had studied in Pakistan, he said: "When
        I started medicine school, I told my God that I wanted
        to heal people."Explosives destroyed people, he said,
        and were "truly against my ideology".

        Mr Khandan said he was tortured by US soldiers in
        Afghanistan. Among other alleged mistreatments, he
        said: "I was ordered to stand up 24 hours for 20 days
        in a row. I had blood coming out of my body and my
        nose for days because I was tortured so much." Later
        he said: "Here in Cuba, I have been treated nice.
        Overall it is fine here."

        Abdur Sayed Rahman

        Mr Rahman, of Pakistan, identified himself as a poor
        chicken farmer. But the US alleged he was in the
        Taliban, as a military judge or deputy foreign
        minister. It emerged during the hearing that the
        deputy minister is Abdur Zahid Rahman, a near homonym
        of the detainee. Police searched Abdur Sayed Rahman's
        home in Pakistan in the fall of 2001. He was arrested
        and could not bribe his way to freedom.

        Ehsanullah Peerzaie

        Mr Peerzaie was detained in Klianjki, Afghanistan. He
        was carrying a list of known Taliban members and
        Taliban radio codes, written on crumpled pieces of
        scrap paper, according to the US authorities. Mr.
        Peerzaie denied being a member of the Taliban, saying:
        "I am George Bush's soldier. I have never helped any
        Taliban and neither would I now."

        Emad Abdalla

        Mr Abdalla, a 25-year-old student from Yemen, was
        captured at a university in Faisalabad, in Pakistan,
        where he was studying the Koran. He is accused of
        travelling to Afghanistan to participate in jihad.

        Arkin Mahmud

        Arkin Mahmud, a Chinese Muslim Uighur who traveled to
        Afghanistan in August 2001, was captured by the
        Northern Alliance as a suspected Taliban fighter. He
        was at the Mazar-e-Shariff prison in November 2001
        when CIA officer Johnny "Mike" Spann was killed. He
        said he only went to Afghanistan to look for his

        Habib Noor

        Habib Noor, a resident of Lalmai, Afghanistan, with
        family in Saudi Arabia, is accused of owning a
        compound that attackers fled to after ambushing U.S.
        Special Forces and Afghan military forces. His
        brother, whom Noor said was mentally unstable, was
        suspected of participating in the fighting. He
        insisted he was unaware of the incident that day,
        which he spent as a vendor in the Lalmai village
        bazaar, in Khowst province. "I was just making sacks
        to sell at the bazaar to make money for my family,"
        Noor said.

        Mohammed Sharif

        Mohammed Sharif, a native of Sherberghan, Afghanistan,
        was accused of serving as a guard at a Taliban camp.
        He denied being a guard, and said he had been captured
        by the Taliban and put to work. He said he feared
        punishment and retribution against his family if he
        fled. Sharif denied any knowledge of al-Qaida and
        asked the tribunal repeatedly to produce the
        (classified) evidence against him, so that he might
        respond. "What could you have possibly done, that we
        might discover some of those facts?" Sharif is asked.
        "That's my point," he responds. "There are no facts.
        ... This is ridiculous. I know for a fact there is no

        Zahir Shah

        Zahir Shah, of Afghanistan, was accused of being a
        member of an Islamic militant group and of having
        automatic weapons and a grenade launcher in his house.
        He acknowledged having rifles for protection, but
        insisted he did not fight American troops.

        Mesh Arsad Al Rashid

        Mesh Arsad Al Rashid said he went to Afghanistan to
        help Muslims fight against Abdul Rashid Dostum, a
        former northern warlord who is now the Afghan army
        chief of staff, and Ahmed Shah Massood, an
        anti-Taliban Afghan military commander slain Sept. 9,
        2001. "I did not know my training would be considered
        al-Qaida training. I was trying to help Muslims," said
        Rashid, who gave no country of origin. "I am not from
        the Taliban, I'm just a person, a helper."

        Zain Ul Abedin

        Zain Ul Abedin (initially listed as Jumma Jan), a
        native of Tajikistan born in 1978, was captured in
        Mazar-e-Shariff, Afghanistan, by coalition forces July
        3, 2003. He told the tribunal that U.S. forces had
        arrested the wrong man: ``That's true the people who
        found me, that's me they arrested me. But I'm not that
        name, I don't know what they call me. Jumma Jan. I am
        not that person.'' He is accused of being a Taliban
        and Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin leader, and of carrying
        out a mission in Tajikistan with al Qaida after Sept.
        11, 2001. Abedin said he came to Afghanistan in 1991
        or 1992 as a refugee and was a taxi driver at the time
        of his arrest.

        Guantanamo Briton 'went to fight'
        By Francis Harris in Washington
        (Filed: 06/03/2006)


        A British detainee told the American authorities in
        Guantanamo Bay that he would be "humbled" to be
        described as an enemy combatant and had left Britain
        to join armed Islamist groups.

        The statements and writings of Feroz Abbasi, from
        Croydon, south London, were among thousands of pages
        of papers from the US detention centre in Cuba
        released by order of the American courts.

        Williams: Cuba camp is setting a dangerous precedent
        By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent
        (Filed: 06/03/2006)


        The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has
        launched a scathing attack on Guantanamo Bay,
        condemning the US prison camp as an "extraordinary
        legal anomaly".

        Speaking during an eight-day visit to Sudan, Dr
        Williams said yesterday that detaining people
        indefinitely when they had not been convicted, and
        denying them proper legal rights, set a dangerous

        He said that the camp in Cuba had created a "new
        category of custody", in which detainees were
        prevented from gaining "the sort of legal access that
        we would probably assume to be important".

        More about Guantanamo Prisoner abuse at:
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