For Immediate Release
December 7, 2004
FAMILIES’ ANGUISH GROWS AS NEW REPORT DETAILS GUANTANAMO TORTURE
Marines, FBI Tell of Prisoners “Curling into a Fetal Position”
and Crying in Pain
Kuwait City,– Each day’s news reports brings added heartache and worry to Khalid and Souad Al-Odah, who haven’t seen their son Fawzi since he was rounded up in the Middle East three years ago by bounty hunters. He has been imprisoned ever since with hundreds of other young men at the U.S. Naval Base in Guantanamo, Cuba.
The latest bad news came today as the AP reported a letter sent by a senior Justice Department official to the U.S. Army’s top criminal investigator. It details “highly aggressive” interrogations and mistreatment of terror suspects including sexual degradation reminiscent of Abu Ghraib as a female interrogator allegedly grabbed a detainee’s genitals as she bent back his thumbs.
With each such news report of prisoner mistreatment at the detention facility, the Al-Odah family and scores of others wonder if their sons and brothers are among those who are being mistreated with no advocate to plea their case.
In another instance, a prisoner was gagged with duct tape. In yet another, a dog was used to intimidate a detainee who later was thrown into isolation where he showed signs of "extreme psychological trauma.”
One Marine told an FBI observer that some interrogations led to prisoners “curling into a fetal position on the floor and crying in pain,” according to the letter dated July 14, 2004.
Khalid Al-Odah founded a group of advocates for the detainees, the Kuwaiti Family Committee, which includes around 100 relatives of the prisoners. They are not asking that their fathers, brothers, and sons be immediately released. They are only asking for due process of law if they are suspected to be criminals – or the decency of the Geneva Conventions if they are prisoners of war.
Instead, their loved ones have been classed as non-persons with no rights whatsoever – and they are being treated like non-persons.
“Every day brings us additional cause for despair,” said Al-Odah. “We are living in misery and terror every day that this brutality goes on.”
This press release is distributed by Levick Strategic Communications on behalf of the International Counsel Bureau. Additional information is available at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.
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