Conflict & Justice

Guantanamo detainee testifies before congress

The Congressman opened the hearing with a statement denouncing the Bush administration's practice of sending detainees to Guantanamo and throwing away the key. That's essentially what happened to this detainee, that is before German officials intervened to secure his release. He was born in Germany and is of Turkish descent but was rounded up as a suspected terrorist while on a trip to Pakistan. He spent the next five years in American in Guantanamo. He testified that he was tortured by electric shock and beaten while his head was held under water. He said his treatment at Guantanamo was barely fit for animals. Similar claims have been made by other former Guantanamo detainees. The Pentagon has refused to comment on the allegations, but says they're implausible. Some Bush administration backers claim the detainee is just trying to sell his new book which outlines his experiences, but this journalist who has spoken with the detainee at length, doubts that. This NYU professor says the testimony is an important even for detainees and Congress has never heard these types of first hand accounts. The Congressman who held the hearing says that was the exact point of the hearing.

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