Aletho News


Detention at Kandahar, Bagram and Guantánamo

By Andy Worthington | November 8, 2010

On September 18, I was delighted to be asked to attend “Eid Without Aafia,” and to conduct a live interview with former Guantánamo prisoners Shafiq Rasul and Ruhal Ahmed

In the first of the three videos, I asked Shafiq and Ruhal about the brutal conditions in the US prison at Kandahar airport, where they were taken following their capture in Afghanistan in November 2001, after they had survived a notorious massacre of prisoners in container trucks and a stay in the Northern Alliance’s brutal and overcrowded Sheberghan prison. I also asked them what they knew about the US prison at Bagram airbase, where Aafia Siddiqui was held, and asked them about the isolating effect of not only being prohibited from receiving any visitors, but of not even receiving letters from their family — or only receiving letters that were heavily censored.

In the second video, Shafiq and Ruhal talked about the despair they felt in Guantánamo when it became clear that the British government had no intention of helping them. I also spoke about how torture is both illegal and counter-productive, and asked Shafiq and Ruhal to explain how the use of torture can lead to false confessions, which allowed them to explain how, in Guantánamo, they eventually made false confessions after being subjected to the “frequent flier program,” a program of prolonged sleep deprivation that involved being moved from cell to cell every few hours, being held in isolation for five months, where they were given very little food, being short-shackled in painful stress position for two to three days at a time, when they were obliged to urinate and defecate on themselves, and being subjected to extremely loud music.

In the third video, Shafiq and Rasul explained how their treatment in Guantánamo led them to think of committing suicide, and, following up on how they were forced into making false confessions, I noted how false confessions don’t necessarily lead to prisoners being released from Guantánamo. I also asked Shafiq and Ruhal to explain more about the circumstances that led to their release, and Shafiq explained how, on the date that they were supposedly filmed at a training camp with Osama bin Laden, he was attending university in the UK (although he also explained that British agents suggested that he might have traveled on a false passport).

I also asked Shafiq and Ruhal to discuss how receiving medical treatment at Guantánamo was entirely dependent on cooperation with the interrogators (in other words, making false confessions). This allowed them to explain how Omar Khadr, the Canadian who was just 15 years old when he was seized (and who was recently convicted in a trial by Military Commission), was one of the many prisoners deprived of medical treatment because he would not make false confessions, even though his wounds were “horrific,” and they couldn’t understand how he was still alive. They explained that they regularly heard him crying in an isolation cell, and also explained that he had been subjected to the “frequent flier program,” adding that, although he is now 24 years old, he “still has that child mentality,” In a moving finale, Ruhal reflected on the barbarity of separating Aafia Siddiqui from her children, and on how they may have been used in an attempt to secure her compliance, as the authorities at Guantánamo had no qualms about abusing child prisoners.


November 9, 2010 - Posted by | Deception, False Flag Terrorism, Subjugation - Torture

1 Comment

  1. And Bush said, “Hell yea”.
    How many international war criminals have cycled through those ‘hallowed’ marble halls now?



    Comment by hybridrogue1 | November 9, 2010

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