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300internal guantanamo document leaked

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  • Greg Cannon
    Oct 4, 2004
    • 0 Attachment
      http://www.guardian.co.uk/guantanamo/story/0,13743,1318625,00.html
      Rule of violence

      David Rose
      Sunday October 3, 2004
      The Observer

      Inside Camp Delta, the British former Guant�namo
      prisoner Shafiq Rasul told me: 'There's only one rule
      that matters. You have to obey whatever US government
      personnel tell you to do.' The cost of disobedience
      was high: possibly a visit from the camp's 'Extreme
      Reaction Force (ERF)', a squad of guards in riot gear,
      which is said by several detainees to have carried out
      brutal assaults.

      When these allegations first surfaced, American
      spokesmen denied them. A leaked internal Guant�namo
      document, published here for the first time and headed
      'Detainee Standards of Conduct', suggests Rasul and
      the others were telling the truth.

      'The following is a set of standards detainees WILL
      follow at ALL times,' it begins. 'Failure to follow
      the following standards will result in strict
      punishment by US security forces.'

      The first two rules allow 30 minutes for detainees to
      eat their meals, and just five minutes for showers,
      although here 'amputees are authorised 10-15 minutes
      for showers'. Then they become more menacing:

      3. Detainees WILL NOT be disrespectful to any US
      security forces personnel or other detainees.

      4. Detainees will follow the orders of US security
      forces at ALL times.

      5. Detainee units can and WILL be searched at any
      time.

      6. Detainees WILL NOT harass, annoy, harm or otherwise
      interfere with the safety or operation of the
      detention facility.

      7. Detainees WILL NOT touch, spit, or throw any object
      at US security forces personnel or other detainees. If
      any non-issued objects are found in or around unit
      area, detainees WILL inform US security forces, with
      no disciplinary action taken.
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      8 Detainees WILL keep noise down to a low
      conversational level. At no time will a detainee be
      allowed to yell or become unruly. At no time will
      detainees communicate across block areas.

      It is perhaps the last rule which is the most
      sinister:

      13. US Security Forces RESERVE THE RIGHT to alter or
      temporarily cease the above standards if necessary.

      Gitmo's public affairs spokesman will not disclose the
      details of the 'strict punishment' threatened in the
      document's preamble. However, it has now emerged that
      ERF deployments have all been videotaped, and in July
      the Pentagon told the Associated Press that 'only 32
      hours' of these tapes revealed 'excessive force'.

      Although they maintain that the 'unlawful combatants'
      at Guant�namo do not deserve the protection of the
      Geneva Conventions, President Bush and Defence
      Secretary Donald Rumsfeld have repeatedly claimed that
      the regime at Camp Delta is nevertheless 'consistent
      with Geneva's principles'.

      In these secret rules, as in much else, Guant�namo is,
      in fact, in flagrant breach of this fundamental piece
      of international law. If one sought to construct and
      manage a prison camp with Geneva as a blueprint, it
      would be not resemble Camp Delta in any significant
      way. Detainees would, for example, be able to move
      freely within a secure perimeter and, instead of being
      locked in tiny cells for 24 hours a day, would largely
      organise their own lives.

      According to the conventions' article 21: 'The
      detaining Power may subject prisoners of war to
      internment. It may impose on them the obligation of
      not leaving ... the camp where they are interned, or
      if the said camp is fenced in, of not going outside
      its perimeter.'

      Under Article 96, 'Before any disciplinary award is
      pronounced, the accused shall be given precise
      information regarding the offences of which he is
      accused, and given an opportunity of explaining his
      conduct and of defending himself. He shall be
      permitted ... to call witnesses and to have recourse,
      if necessary, to the services of a qualified
      interpreter.' Needless to say, at Guant�namo, there
      have been no such hearings.