Jen Nessel, firstname.lastname@example.org
Foreign Interrogators in Guantánamo Bay recounts interrogations of detainees by security officials from China, Uzbekistan, Libya, Jordan, Tajikistan and Tunisia – all countries that the U.S. State Department has consistently criticized for egregious treatment of detainees during interrogations in their own countries.
“The U.S. government has refused to allow our own elected representatives to meet with Guantánamo prisoners to hear their experiences, yet we have invited and facilitated interrogations from some of the most brutal human rights abusing regimes in the world. This is frankly unconscionable,” said CCR Staff Attorney Emi MacLean.
According to CCR, these brutal interrogations are further evidence of the dangers faced by approximately 50 Guantánamo detainees at risk of being returned to brutal regimes. MacLean continued, “The U.S. has repeatedly returned people to countries with full knowledge that they are likely to be tortured upon their return. The U.S. has twice tried to put our client Abdul Ra’ouf Al Qassim on a plane to Libya where he would face certain torture. Two former Guantánamo prisoners have already disappeared into Libya’s prisons after the U.S. transferred and abandoned them there.”
In a second report, Solitary Confinement at Guantánamo Bay, CCR details the deteriorating mental health of the approximately 70 percent of Guantánamo’s prisoners who are currently in solitary confinement – virtually all without charge or trial. Three of Guantánamo’s camps – Camps 5, 6, and Echo – house detainees in extreme conditions of solitary confinement, which the government speaks about as “single-occupancy cells” providing greater “privacy.”
CCR Executive Director Vincent Warren said, “The government is not keeping these men in a Holiday Inn-type room—in reality, they live in brutal isolation with no chance of seeing the light of day, much less a fair trial.”
According to the report released today, one prisoner in Camp 6 recounted to his lawyer, “I’ve started talking to the ceiling. I know it’s crazy, but I can’t stand it anymore.” Another Camp 6 prisoner with deteriorating mental health, stated, “I look alive, but actually I’m dead.”
CCR reiterated its call for the rapid closure of Guantánamo and the immediate removal of all men from solitary confinement facilities to communal living.
The information in the reports was provided to members of the House Foreign Relations Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight last week for a hearing on the plight of Guantánamo’s refugees.
The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at ccrjustice.org.