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General Topic Areas

Rendition (35)
legalProceedings (41)
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Types of abuses performed by Americans

Use of dogs (11)
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Qala-i-Janghi massacre (20)

US Bases and Interrogation Centers

Guantanamo (141)
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People who have been detained

John Walker Lindh (32)
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Yaser Esam Hamdi (21)
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Jamal Udeen (10)
Ali Sale Kayla al-Marri (5)
Mohamed al Chastaini (1)
Tarek Dergoul
Ahmed Agiza (2)
Muhammed Al-Zery (2)
Abdul Razaq (2)
Noor Aghah (1)
Mohammed Saad Iqbal Madni (5)
6 men in Bosnia (4)
Mohammed Saghir (1)
Mohamedou Oulad Slahi (1)
Mamdouh Habib (4)
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Mahmud Sardar Issa (3)
Khalifa Abdi (3)
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Sohail Karimi (1)
Adil Al-Jazeeri (1)
Abed Hamed Mowhoush (4)
Saddam Salah al-Rawi (8)
Manadel al-Jamadi (3)
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Martin Mubanga (4)
Hiwa Abdul Rahman Rashul (3)
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Mohamed al-Khatani (4)
Saifullah Paracha (2)
David Hicks (3)
Feroz Abbasi (3)
Salim Ahmed Hamdan (6)
Ali Hamza Ahmad Sulayman al-Bahlul (2)
Ibrahim Ahmed Mahmoud al-Qosi (2)
Adullah Almalk (1)
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Assad (3)
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A.Z. (1)
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Wesam Abdulrahman Ahmed Al Deemawi (1)
Hussein Abdelkadr Youssouf Mustafa (3)
Shafiq Rasul (20)
Rhuhel Ahmed (21)
Asif Iqbal (21)
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Sahim Alwan (3)
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Yaseinn Taher (3)
Abdul Jabar (1)
Mullah Rocketti (1)
Mohammed Ahmed al-Kandari (1)
Thamir Issawi (0)
Haydar Sabbar Abed (1)
Abd al-Rahim al Nashiri (1)
Jan Baz Khan (1)
Unnamed prisoners (42)
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Torture, rendition, and other abuses against captives in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere

 
  

Project: Prisoner abuse in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

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Shortly After September 11, 2001

       Tarek Dergoul, a British national of Pakistani descent and a former London care worker, travels to Afghanistan with two Pakistani friends shortly after 9/11. They intend to invest in housing, so he claims, which they think will become scarce as soon as the impending US attacks cause refugees. “The plan,” according to Dergoul, “was to buy some property away from where the bombing was. We thought we could buy it very cheap; then sell it at a profit after the war.” [The Observer, 5/16/2004]
People and organizations involved: Mohamed al-Khatani
          

December 2001-January 2002

       Tarek Dergoul and two Pakistani friends, who arrived in Afghanistan shortly after 9/11 (see Shortly After September 11, 2001) to purchase houses, stay in the Afghan town of Jalalabad. That night, the house where they are sleeping is bombed, and Dergoul's friends are killed in the blast. Dergoul goes outside when another bomb explodes nearby, wounding him with shrapnel. He then lies among the ruins, unable to walk, for at least a week. His left arm, hit with shrapnel, is severely damaged and a large part will later be amputated. At night the cold is so severe that his toes turn black from frostbite. Eventually, troops loyal to the Northern Alliance find him, treat him well and take him to a hospital where he undegoes three operations. But after five weeks, someone decides to make a profit on him. Dergoul is taken to an airfield, where a US helicopter arrives to pick him up. His captors are paid the standard fee of $5,000, according to Dergoul. From there, he is flown to the US air base at Bagram. [The Observer, 5/16/2004]
People and organizations involved: Mohamed al-Khatani
          

January 2002

       As soon as Tarek Dergoul arrives at Bagram, he is subjected to treatment that he later describes as sexually humiliating. “When I arrived, with a bag over my head, I was stripped naked and taken to a big room with 15 or 20 MP's. They started taking photos and then they did a full cavity search. As they were doing that they were taking close-ups, concentrating on my private parts.” Dergoul sees other prisoners enduring beatings, which he is spared. “Guards with guns and baseball bats would make the detainees squat for hours, and if they fell over from exhaustion, they'd beat them until they lost consciousness. They called it ‘beat down.’ ” Dergoul is interrogated 20 to 25 times at Bagram. Once, a team from the British intelligence agency MI5 is present, at which occasion he is told his family's assets will be seized. His interrogators accuse him of fighting with al-Qaeda in the Tora Bora mountains. Although he says none of that is true, Dergoul finally breaks. “I was in extreme pain from the frostbite and other injuries and I was so weak I could barely stand. It was freezing cold and I was shaking and shivering like a washing machine. The interrogators, who questioned me at gunpoint, said if I confessed I'd be going home. Finally I agreed I'd been at Tora Bora—though I still wouldn't admit I'd ever met bin Laden.” [The Guardian, 3/13/2004; The Observer, 5/16/2004]
People and organizations involved: Tarek Dergoul
          

February 2002

       Tarek Dergoul is transferred from Bagram to the US detention camp at Kandahar. He is still suffering from frostbite (see January 2002). For weeks he is not given medical treatment and the infection spreads, turning a big toe gangrenous. There at Kandahar he undergoes a further amputation. During the ensuing three months, Dergoul is only allowed two showers. [The Observer, 5/16/2004] He will eventually be released in May 2004, never charged and never convicted.
People and organizations involved: Tarek Dergoul
          

May 1, 2002

       Tarek Dergoul is forcefully injected with a sedative, shortly before being put on the plane from Afghanistan to Guantanamo. [The Observer, 5/16/2004]
People and organizations involved: Tarek Dergoul
          

mid-February 2002

       Just before Rhuhel Ahmed is to be flown to Guantanamo in February from his prison at Kandahar, he is visited by an official from the British Foreign Office. An MI5 officer, who is also present, tells Ahmed his friends are in Cuba and have confessed to everything. If he confesses too, the officer says, he will go home. [Sources: Composite statement by Shafiq Rasul, Asif Iqbal and Rhuhel Ahmed: Detention in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, 7/26/2004] “All the time I was kneeling with a guy standing on the backs of my legs and another holding a gun to my head.” [The Observer, 3/14/2004] Ahmed's account is similar to that of another Briton, Tarek Dergoul, who claims to have been interrogated at gunpoint in early 2002 (see January 2002). The MI5 man alleges, according to Ahmed: “We've got your name, we've got your passport, we know you've been funded by an extremist group and we know you've been to this mosque in Birmingham. We've got photos of you.” But these statements are not true. [The Observer, 3/14/2004] Ahmed decides to agree to everything they charge him with, including being paid by Al Muhajeroon and intending to fight holy jihad. “I was in a terrible state. I just said ‘OK’ to everything they said to me. I agreed with everything whether it was true or not. I just wanted to get out of there.” On the day Ahmed leaves for Guantanamo, which is five days later, the Foreign Office representative comes to see him again simply to tell him he is going to Cuba. Ahmed too has his beard and head shaven before being put on the plane. He arrives in the middle of February. On arrival at Guantanamo, Ahmed, is kicked so hard, he cannot walk “for nearly one month.” [Sources: Composite statement by Shafiq Rasul, Asif Iqbal and Rhuhel Ahmed: Detention in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, 7/26/2004]
People and organizations involved: Rhuhel Ahmed
          

Mid-October 2002

       Gen. Michael E. Dunlavey, head of the intelligence operations at Guantanamo, faces an outbreak of unrest among the prisoners after he announces that four detainees will be repatriated: three Afghans and a Tajik. According to an October 20 email sent by an FBI official from Guantanamo, these detainees “will be taken back to their respective countries in late October and the same plane will return with between ten and thirty-four new detainees.” After the announcement, the camp erupts in unrest and there is a “threat of mass suicide by the detainees.” [Sources: Email from unnamed FBI agent, 10/26/2002] It is not clear what has caused the unrest. According to Shafiq Rasul, one of the detainees, “They would announce upon loud speakers (particularly when people were released) that if we co-operated with them they would release us. We knew this included acting as an informant.” [Sources: Composite statement by Shafiq Rasul, Asif Iqbal and Rhuhel Ahmed: Detention in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, 7/26/2004] According to the FBI official, “no suicides [happen] and the Camp quickly [settles] down.” [Sources: Email from unnamed FBI agent, 10/26/2002]
People and organizations involved: Shafiq Rasul, Michael E. Dunlavey
          

March 7, 2004

       At Guantanamo, shortly before their release, Jamal Udeen, Tarek Dergoul, and the Tipton Three are asked to sign a document confessing to having links with al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Iqbal remembers: “It was along the lines that I was a member of the Taliban and al-Qaeda, however I have since changed. In other words I had changed my mind since I was detained at Guantanamo Bay. It went on to say that if I was suspected of anything at any time by the United States, I could be picked up and returned to Guantanamo Bay.” He is told that signing the document is a precondition for going back to the UK. “I didn't really believe him,” Iqbal later says, and so he refused to sign. [Sources: Composite statement by Shafiq Rasul, Asif Iqbal and Rhuhel Ahmed: Detention in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, 7/26/2004] Jamal Udeen also has a confession statement presented to him by a British official. “This was given to me first by the Americans and then by a British diplomat who asked if I agreed to sign it. I just said ‘No.’ I would rather have stayed in Guantanamo than sign that paper.” [The Mirror, 3/12/2004]
People and organizations involved: Taliban, Rhuhel Ahmed, Asif Iqbal, Shafiq Rasul, Tarek Dergoul, al-Qaeda, Jamal Udeen
          

March 9, 2004

       British nationals Jamal Udeen, Tarek Dergoul, Ruhal Ahmed, Asif Iqbal, and Shafiq Rasul are released from Guantanamo without charges. Upon landing at the RAF Northolt airfield, all except Udeen are arrested by British police. They are released soon after questioning. [The Mirror, 3/12/2004]
People and organizations involved: Tarek Dergoul, Jamal Udeen
          

March 12, 2004

       In a statement, British former Guantanamo prisoner Tarek Dergoul “condemns the US and UK governments for allowing these gross breaches of human rights and demands the release of all the other detainees.” His treatment included “botched medical treatment, interrogation at gunpoint, beatings and inhumane conditions.” The statement adds: “Tarek finds it very difficult to talk about these things and his family believe his mental health has been severely affected by the trauma he has suffered.” When confronted with the allegations of Dergoul and Jamal Udeen, a Pentagon spokeswoman describes these as “simply lies.” The same day, Secretary of State Colin Powell says in a television interview that he believes the US treats the detainees at Guantanamo “in a very, very humanitarian way.” And he adds, “Because we are Americans, we don't abuse people in our care.” [The Guardian, 3/13/2004]
People and organizations involved: Jamal Udeen, Tarek Dergoul, Colin Powell
          

May 15, 2004

       Lt. Col. Leon Sumpter, a spokesman for the Guantanamo Joint Task Force, confirms that on every occasion that Guantanamo's “Extreme Reaction Force” (ERF) has been called into action—often to deal with uncooperative prisoners—it has been filmed. The films are stored in an archive at Guantanamo, he says. [The Observer, 5/16/2004] The films could contain evidence of prisoner abuse at the facility. For example, Tarek Dergoul, a former detainee, alleges that the ERF was called in once when he refused to submit to a body search. “They pepper-sprayed me in the face ... pinned me down and attacked me, poking their fingers in my eyes, and forced my head into the toilet pan and flushed,” he tells the Observer. “They tied me up like a beast and then they were kneeling on me, kicking and punching. Finally they dragged me out of the cell in chains, into the rec yard, and shaved my beard, my hair, my eyebrows.” [The Observer, 5/16/2004]
People and organizations involved: Tarek Dergoul, Leon Sumpter
          


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