Here’s an interesting article from The Guardian website, thought you might wish to read.
Here is also a link to an audio file from BBC Radio4 with the full account of a detainies complaints and an interview with Colleen Grathy… very very interesting.
James Sturcke Friday March 3, 2006 A man told today of the brutal beatings and torture he claims to have suffered during more than four years at the GuantÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¡namo Bay detention camp. Fawzi al-Odah, a 29-year-old from Kuwait, said he had been force-fed by guards and that he had “given up” on life as a consequence of the treatment he had received.
Mr Odah’s version of life at the controversial prison camp at a US base in Cuba was relayed through his lawyer in reply to a series of written questions submitted by a BBC journalist.
Mr Odah, who the US administration claims was fighting with the Taliban in Afghanistan, got his American attorney Tom Wilner to smuggle the answers out of the prison. One of 84 detainees who have spent part of their time in captivity on hunger strike, Mr Odah told how he was force-fed by guards to keep him alive.
His testimony came as another GuantÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¡namo Bay detainee, Mohammed Bawazir, launched a legal challenge against the force-feeding policy.
Mr Bawazir, a Yemeni, has been at the camp since 2002. His lawyer argued in a US court yesterday that the use of restraint equipment and feeding tubes violated new US legislation outlawing torture.
Lawyers for the US administration argue that the ban does not apply retrospectively to GuantÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¡namo Bay inmates who were already incarcerated when the law was passed last year.
Mr Odah told the BBC: “They told me I would be punished if I continued my hunger strike. First they took my comfort items away one by one and I was put in isolation. Then an officer came in and gave me an order from General [Jay] Hood [the GuantÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¡namo Bay commander].
“He said that if I continued then they would put me on the chair. These are metal chairs. You are strapped on and liquid food is forced into you. I told him that was torture. He replied that I could call it how I liked but that was the way it was going to be.”
Mr Odah said he was captured in Afghanistan by a Pakistani, sold to the Americans and tortured in Kandahar before being transferred to GuantÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¡namo Bay.
“The guards [in GuantÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¡namo Bay] beat you up quickly if you give any problem at all. They are young people. They think we are terrorists. They hate us. If anything happens anywhere in the world against the US, they immediately react and treat us badly, like animals.
“I was tortured when I first arrived in GuantÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¡namo and was beaten up. Also when I first started on this last hunger strike they abused us badly. They pulled the tubes in and out of me. If I resisted or tried to take the tubes out they would strap me down, force my head back and cause me a lot more pain. It was useless to resist.”
US authorities, in a statement broadcast on the BBC’s Today programme, said policy had not been to break the hunger strike “but to carry out humane treatment and preserve human life”.
However, Mr Odah said he had lost a fifth of his body weight in captivity had “become an old man”.
“I am always tired. I have pain in my kidneys. I have trouble breathing and pain in my heart. I have given up. I am hopeless. I just want to be released. My health does not matter. Death is better in this situation than being alive and giving up hope.”
Mr Odah, who said his father fought with US troops against Saddam Hussein in the first Gulf war, said that he was innocent and if the US had any evidence to support their allegation that he fought against them, he should be put on trial.
Colleen Graffy, a US deputy assistant secretary of state for public diplomacy, told the BBC that Mr Odah’s combatant status review tribunal report indicated he had admitted some of the allegations, but that he denied he fired an AK47 or went to a terrorist camp.
Asked why the detainees were not being brought to court she replied: “That is a very good question. This is the most difficult aspect to deal with because society has been raised on NYPD Blues and LA Law so they [sic] are thinking the application of domestic criminal law.”
She insisted that the US’s war with al-Qaida and its associates meant it was right to invoke “laws of war” and said Argentine fighters captured during the 1982 Falklands war were not brought before the Old Bailey.
“In holding these individuals you have to have a process to hold them and they have the combatant status review tribunal where evidence is put against them and it is a way to find out if they were in the wrong place at the wrong time.” She said there was a tribunal appeal process to the civilian courts.
She said the 10,000 people detained for supposedly fighting against allied forces in Afghanistan had been whittled down to the “700 plus” sent to GuantÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¡namo, of which 490 were still there “and about half had their own lawyers”.
Ms Graffy added she was disappointed that Mr Wilner had broken a lawyer’s agreement with the US government to take part in “a publicity stunt”, saying it was not “good form”.
A full account of Mr Odah’s complaints can be heard here.