- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 16, 2004

LONDON — Attorneys for two British men who were held by the United States at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, will seek the release of photographs and videos taken at the camp.

They say the pictures show detainees being subjected to the same techniques of stress and duress and sexual humiliation revealed by pictures from the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

The lawyers and others say the men’s treatment at Guantanamo Bay shows the abuses at Abu Ghraib were not the actions of rogue individuals, but rather a deliberate policy of U.S. intelligence officials to soften up detainees and make them more cooperative during questioning.

Barbara Olshansky, assistant legal director of the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights and attorney for Shafiq Rasul and Asif Iqbal, told British Boardcasting Corp. Radio on Friday the two men “were subjected to … the same kind of humiliation and stress techniques that were used in Iraq,” and were “videotaped and photographed during the duration of their detention.”

The men, who were released in March after more than two years at the camp, have said they were often taunted by female personnel and menaced by dogs while being held naked at the camp in the same way that the pictures from Abu Ghraib show detainees being treated.

Mrs. Olshansky said the men’s treatment was a matter of “the policy of the American military in handling all these situations.” Of the men’s treatment at Guantanamo Bay, she said, “It appeared to them that this was the routine.”

The U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether U.S. courts have jurisdiction over the camp. Mrs. Olshansky said if the ruling, expected this summer, finds there was jurisdiction, writs of habeas corpus could be filed and “through discovery in that litigation, we would hope to find out much more about what happened there.”

“Of course we will seek [the release of] everything that relates to their detention and the detention of others with the idea toward revealing to the public what went on there,” she said.

Campaigners say the humiliation of prisoners at Abu Ghraib was part of a military policy to — in the words of one officer — “set favorable conditions for subsequent interviews.”

The news comes as the U.S. military revealed that it had punished soldiers who assaulted prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, and that it had received a critical report from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) about the running of the detention center.

Eight soldiers had been punished by being demoted or given less serious administrative punishment for offenses ranging from humiliating detainees to physical assault, Adm. Albert T. “Tom” Church, the Navy’s inspector general, told reporters at the Pentagon, according to a transcript released Friday.

“The directions to the secretary of defense with respect to humane treatment of detainees and the interrogation techniques were being carried out as best we could determine,” Adm. Church said.

A senior Pentagon official Thursday told reporters traveling with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to Iraq that the ICRC had issued a new report criticizing the detention of hundreds of suspects at Guantanamo Bay.

The official, who asked not to be identified, gave no details, but said the report was delivered to the State Department last week.


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