USA: Still failing human rights in the name of global

January 20, 2010

USA: Still failing human rights in the name of global


“I was forced to stand the entire time until my feet swelled and I was exhausted. I was dragged by the neck to interrogation, where dogs would bark in my face.”


He was transferred to Guantánamo in late October 2002. There he was held in isolation and subjected to further interrogations. In his declaration, he added:


“The interrogators at Guantánamo knew that I had been imprisoned and tortured at Bagram and the Dark Prison. They would ask me, ‘So, how did you like it at Bagram? How did you like the Dark Prison?’


An interrogator at Guantánamo showed me photographs of some of the same people I had been asked to identify [in photographs] at the Dark Prison. I told the interrogator I did not really know these people, and I had only said I did before because I was tortured. The interrogator became very angry, threw the file, grabbed a chair, and began screaming in my face. Because I feared that the torture would resume, and because the interrogator threatened to send me back to Bagram or the Dark Prison, I falsely admitted that I did know the people in the photographs”.


In a habeas corpus hearing in Washington DC on 14 December 2009 – more than seven years after Musa’ab Al Madhwani was taken to Guantánamo – Judge Thomas Hogan noted that the US government had “made no attempt” to refute Al Madhwani’s torture allegations, and that there was “no evidence in the record” that they were inaccurate. To the contrary, Judge Hogan added, the allegations were corroborated by “uncontested government medical records describing his debilitating physical and medical condition during those approximately 40 days in Pakistan and Afghanistan, confirming his claims of these coercive conditions.”


A medical record dated shortly before his transfer to Guantánamo indicates that Musa’ab Al Madhwani had lost about a third of his body weight, and was showing signs of possible severe dehydration. By the time he was transferred to Guantánamo he was suffering from severe mental health problems. According to the medical experts retained for the habeas corpus proceedings by both the government and the detainee’s counsel, Musa’ab Al Madhwani was likely suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a serious mental condition from which he continues to suffer, according to a doctor retained by Al Madhwani’s US lawyers.


Amnesty International does not know what, if any, official investigation has taken place into the allegations of torture and ill-treatment of Musa’ab Al Madhwani in Pakistani and US custody. Under Article 12 of the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT), which the USA ratified in 1994,


“Each State Party shall ensure that its competent authorities proceed to a prompt and impartial investigation, wherever there is reasonable ground to believe that an act of torture has been committed in any territory under its jurisdiction”.