Shaker Aamer, a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay detention facility narrates stories of horror during prison searches by the guards.
Aamer, who went on a hunger strike after being detained by US for 11 years along with other inmates at the prison has often informed of the ordeals of the captives at Gitmo through his lawyer Clive Stafford Smith. This time around, the last Briton inmate at the military detention camp tells how he was sexually assaulted by prison guards in a declassified phone call with Smith.
“They flip me over for the search. Mostly, that’s just an assault, sometimes a sexual assault. We call it the Gitmo massage,” Mr Aamer said. “There is meant to be a board, like a wooden stretcher, and they are meant to roll me on. But now they don’t have them. Now they carry me like a sack of potatoes, which is really painful for me.”
Terry Holdbrooks, a veteran and a former guard of Guantanamo Bay told Carbonated.TV in an interview that torture and abuse of inmates was common at the prison.
Earlier in July, in a letter obtained exclusively by Al Jazeera, Younous Chekkouri, a veteran and a former guard of Guantanamo Bay accused US military of sexual assault under the guise of maintaining security.
According to Chekkouri, he was sexually abused by guards as they searched him each time he left and returned to his cell in order to talk to his lawyer or his wife. And he said he was not the only one enduring this kind of treatment.
Another letter from Abdelhadi Faraj, a Syrian detainee was published on the Huffington Post. It said, “It is not unusual for prison guards here to search prisoners' genital parts and their rectum 10 times in a single day. Daily, I am forced into a restraint chair, my arms, legs and chest tied down tight. Big guards grab my head with both hands. I feel like my skull is being crushed. Then, so-called nurses violently push a thick tube down my nostril. Blood rushes out of my nose and mouth. The nurses turn on the feeding solution full throttle. I cannot begin to describe the pain that causes.”
Barack Obama has so far (even during his second term as president) has been unable to close down the detention facility. What’s worse, the US government ignored a judge’s order that they stop guards in Guantanamo Bay from performing invasive genital searches on detainees who want to meet or speak with their lawyers, according to Reprieve, a UK based non-profit organization.
One wonders how many letters it would take for the US government to take notice of the worsening situation at Guantanamo Bay.
It’s tragic and condemnable.