News from Guantanamo Bay
- Complete News coverage on Guantanamo at:
7 Afghans Released from Guantánamo Say They Saw Abuse
By CARLOTTA GALL
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
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
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 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
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
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
- 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
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.
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
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
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
"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
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
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
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
By ADAM ZAGORIN/WASHINGTON
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
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
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.
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'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
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."
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
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."
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
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.
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."
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, 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, 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,"
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, 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
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
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has
launched a scathing attack on Guantanamo Bay,
condemning the US prison camp as an "extraordinary
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: