Four former Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib prisoners have shined a light on some of their darkest days in a series of recent interviews reported by CNN and The Washington Post.
Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef, a former prisoner who goes by the alias Abu Ahmed, a former detainee only identified as Amir and Lakhdar Boumediene described the harsh interrogation methods used against them.
Zaeef, a former associate of Taliban leader Mullah Omar, told CNN that U.S. officials beat him and put him into the snow at Bagram Air Base until he was unconscious. He was later transferred to Guantanamo Bay, and released in 2006 after more than three years in detention, CNN reported.
Ahmed, who served a 20 month detention beginning in 2003, told CNN that he was forced to live without clothes at Abu Ghraib for 32 days.
Amir, who was detained from 2003 to 2004 in Abu Ghraib, told CNN he had a collar put around him and forced to howl like a dog. Another time, he was sodomized with a broomstick, according to CNN.
Boumediene, who was recently released to France after seven years at Guantanamo Bay, was “roughly (lifted) from the chair where he was strapped, so the shackles dug into his flesh” during his interrogations, according to The Post.
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The American Civil Liberties Union and the Pentagon have struck a deal for the May 28 release of many Bush-era photos documenting prisoner abuse at military prisons, TIME reported today. A journalist friend of ours who knows this story well reports the photos are expected to show abuse in Afghanistan and other locations in Iraq.
The collection includes official photos and informal pictures taken by soldiers, TIME said. The pictures, which were obtained during Defense Department investigations of military prisons, will show abuse that is “far beyond the walls of Abu Ghraib,” ACLU lawyer Amrit Singh told TIME.
“We know this could make things tougher for our troops, but the court decisions really don’t leave us with any other option,” a senior Pentagon official told TIME.
Release of the photos is a big victory for the ACLU, which has long been pressing the Pentagon for them.