Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


Testimony and Case Details from Guantánamo Bay

Testimony and Case Details from Guantánamo Bay

February 15, 2005
Please Distribute Widely

In the third chapter of their book, ''Guantanamo: What the World Should Know,'' serialized this month on Narco News, authors Michael Ratner and Ellen Ray go deeper into the individual stories of the Guantánamo prisoners and the suffering they have endured at the hands of their U.S. captors. As a lawyer representing several current and former prisoners of the interrogation camp located on occupied Cuban land, Ratner has acquired a broad knowledge of the conditions these prisoners – the vast majority, according to Ratner, completely innocent of any crime and picked up on flimsy or nonexistent evidence. Their testimony, and that of the families of other prisoners yet to be released, flies in the face of government claims about the "humane conditions" enjoyed by these "suspected terrorists."

Some excerpts from Ratner's account:

"Some of the released British detainees had been picked up by the troops of a Northern Alliance warlord working with the Americans, Rachid Dostom. They were some of the many thousands of people packed into steel shipping containers in which thousands died; thirty to fifty out of each container of three to four hundred survived.

"They then were taken to Sheberghan prison for more than a month of interrogation and treated awfully. Then they were taken in chains, trussed like chickens with goggles over their heads so they couldn’t see, to Kandahar, where they were subjected to very heavy interrogations: forced to kneel, beaten on their backs."


"Other kinds of misconduct included injections. Detainees have been pinned to the floor by the IRF Squad and given forcible injections. Detainees also said that after every meal they became groggy. They still don’t know why; possibly just to keep them under control, under some kind of sedation."


"In some cases, they... intimidated prisoners with family photos that had been sent to them. The guards enlarged the pictures and put them on the wall, threatening that things would happen to the prisoner’s family unless the prisoner talked. This is also a form of torture; you are not allowed to threaten someone’s family to make them talk."


"Another prisoner, Muhammad Sidiq, a thirty-year-old truck driver from Kunduz, said he had been beaten, first at Bagram and then at Guantánamo. 'They covered our faces,' he said, 'and started beating us on our heads and giving us electric shock.' For two or three weeks he was going crazy, and then the beatings stopped, although he was often kept in chains. He slept in a place that was nine feet long and seven feet wide, and he could not see other prisoners most of the time.

"Another prisoner, Aziz Khan, a forty-five-year-old father of ten, said he was taken because he had some rifles at his house. He was sometimes in chains, sometimes put in a place like a cage for a bird, sometimes kept in a freight container. He said, 'Americans are very cruel. They want to govern the world.'"


"It was only after some complaints got out that the children were moved away from the other prisoners and put into a separate camp, Camp Iguana. But the continued presence of children in any prison camp is really an indicator of the whole outrageous situation there. And the stories of these three children are pretty harrowing.

"One of them, Mohammed Ismail Agha, now back in Afghanistan, was probably thirteen or less when he was picked up. He says he was arrested by Afghan militia soldiers and handed over to American troops in 2002 while he was looking for a job. He was in prison for fourteen months as a terrorist suspect, two months at Bagram and then a year in Guantánamo."

Read the entire chapter, at:

Remember, thanks to the generosity of the book's publisher, Chelsea Green, our readers can purchase copies of the book for just $10, including shipping. The books have been donated by the publisher and all proceeds will go to The Fund for Authentic Journalism. Support a great cause and pay less than you would on

From somewhere in a country called América,

Dan Feder

Managing Editor, Narco News

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


27-29 Sept: Social Enterprise World Forum Live Blog

1600+ delegates from more than 45 countries have came together to share wisdom, build networks and discuss how to create a more sustainable future using social enterprise as a vehicle. Attending the Forum were social enterprise practitioners, social entrepreneurs, policy makers, community leaders, investors, activists, academics and more from across the globe... More>>

HiveMind Report: A Universal Basic Income For Aotearoa NZ

Results from this HiveMind suggests that an overwhelming majority of Kiwis believe that due to changing circumstances and inefficiencies in the current system, we need a better system to take care of welfare of struggling members in our society. More>>


Scoop Hivemind: Medical Cannabis - Co-Creating A Policy For Aotearoa

Welcome to the fourth and final HiveMind for Scoop’s Opening the Election campaign for 2017. This HiveMind explores the question: what would a fair, humane and safe Medical Cannabis policy look like for Aotearoa, NZ in 2018? More>>


Lyndon Hood: Notes On National’s Election Campaign, In Poem Form

Nationyl’s bitumen-ing / As they du du / Seed groweth / River floweth / Then ‘dozer drives thru / Highway ensu. More>>