Nasty Letters To Crooked Politicians

As we enter a new era of politics, we hope to see that Obama has the courage to fight the policies that Progressives hate. Will he have the fortitude to turn the economic future of America to help the working man? Or will he turn out to be just a pawn of big money, as he seems to be right now.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

David Hicks details abuse in Guantánamo Bay

By Richard Phillips
18 December 2004

Use this version to print | Send this link by email | Email the author

An affidavit by David Hicks, a 29-year-old Australian citizen captured in Afghanistan and held by the US military since December 2001, was released last week by his lawyers during legal action in the US courts. Dated August 5, it is the first statement by a current detainee in Guantánamo Bay on the abuse of prisoners and adds to the mountain of evidence about Bush administration’s criminal actions in the notorious jail.

Hicks is one of four Guantánamo Bay prisoners formally charged on allegations of terrorist activity and due to face trial early next year. He explained that he was “beaten before, after, and during interrogations... [and] threatened, directly and indirectly, with firearms and other weapons before and during interrogations” during his three-year detention.

He also heard the bashing of other detainees during interrogations and saw their injuries. He states that he has been hit in the face, head, feet, and torso with hands, fists and other objects, including rifle butts.

“At one point, a group of detainees, including myself, was subjected to being randomly hit over a eight-hour session while handcuffed and blindfolded,” he said. His head was rammed into the ground several times.

While the Bush administration and the Howard government still claim that prisoners are not tortured in Guantánamo Bay, Hicks’ affidavit demonstrates, yet again, that physical and psychological abuse is part of the jail’s standard operating procedure. It also confirms statements by British detainees released this year that dogs were used to terrorise prisoners—methods later employed in Abu Ghraib in Iraq.

“I have witnessed the activities of the Internal Reaction Force (hereinafter ‘IRF’), which consists of a squad of soldiers that enter a detainee’s cell and brutalise him with the aid of an attack dog. The IRF invasions were so common that the term to be ‘IRF’ed’ became part of the language of the detainees. I have seen detainees suffer serious injuries as a result of being IRF’ed. I have seen detainees IRF’ed while they were praying, or for refusing medication.”

Hicks stated that he was deprived of sleep as a “matter of policy”, forcibly injected with unknown sedatives—his requests for information about the drugs ignored—and beaten while under their influence. He was handcuffed so tightly, and for up to 15 hours at a time, that his hands became numb and remained that way for a considerable period. He was regularly forced to run in leg shackles that ripped the skin off his ankles.


Post a Comment

<< Home