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ICRC REPORT ON THE TREATMENT OF FOURTEEN "HIGH VALUE DETAINEES" IN CIA CUSTODY

February 2007

1.1 ARREST AND TRANSFER

The following fourteen persons are referred to in this report, in chronological order according to date of arrest:


NameNationalityPlace of arrestDate of arrest
1) Abu ZubaydahPalestinianFaisalabad, Pakistan28 March 2002
2) Ramzi Mohammed BinalshibYemeniKarachi, Pakistan11 September 2002
3) Abdelrahim Hussein Abdul NashiriSaudiDubaiOctober 2002
4) Mustafha Ahmad AI HawsawiSaudiRawalpindi, Pakistan01 March 2003
5) Khaled Shaik MohammedPakistaniRawalpindi, Pakistan01 March 2003
6) Majid KhanPakistaniKarachi, Pakistan05 March 2003
7) Ali Abdul Aziz MohammedPakistaniKarachi, Pakistan29 April 2003
8)Walid Bin AttashYemeniKarachi, Pakistan29 April 2003
9) Mohammed Farik Bin AminMalaysianBangkok, Thailand08 June 2003
10) Mohammed Nazir Bin LepMalaysianBangkok, Thailand11 August 2003
11) Encep Nuraman (aka Hambali)IndonesianAyutthaya, Thailand11 August 2003
12) Haned Hassan Ahmad GuleedSomaliDjibouti04 March 2004
13) Ahmed Khalafan GhailaniTanzanianGujarat, Pakistan25 July 2004
14) Mustafah Faraj Al-AzibiLibyanMardan, Pakistan02 May 2005

The fourteen were arrested in four different countries. In each case, they were reportedly arrested by the national police or security forces of the country in which they were arrested. In some cases US agents were present at the time of arrest. All fourteen were detained in the country of arrest for periods ranging from a few days up to one month before their first transfer to a third country (reportedly Afghanistan, see below) and from there on to other countries. Interrogation in the country of arrest was conducted by US agents in nearly all cases. In two cases, however, detainees reported having been interrogated by the national authorities, either alone or jointly with US agents: Mr Abdelrahim Hussein Abdul Nashiri was allegedly interrogated for the first month after arrest by Dubai agents, and one detainee who did not wish his name to be transmitted to the authorities was allegedly interrogated by both Pakistani and US agents. During their subsequent detention, outlined below, detainees sometimes reported the presence of non-US personnel (believed to be personnel of the country in which they were held), even though the overall control of the facility appeared to remain under the control of the US authorities.

Throughout their detention, the fourteen were moved from one place to another and were allegedly kept in several different places of detention, probably in several different countries. The number of locations reported by the detainees varied, however ranged from three to ten locations prior to their arrival in Guantanamo in September 2006.

The transfer procedure was fairly standardised in most cases. The detainee would be photographed, both clothed and naked prior to and again after transfer. A body cavity check (rectal examination) would be carried out and some detainees alleged that a suppository (the type and the effect of such suppositories was unknown by the detainees), was also administered at that moment.

The detainee would be made to wear a diaper and dressed in a tracksuit. Earphones would be placed over his ears, through which music would sometimes be played. He would be blindfolded with at least a cloth tied around the head and black goggles. In addition, some detainees alleged that cotton wool was also taped over their eyes prior to the blindfold and goggles being applied. Mr Abu Zubaydah alleged that during one transfer operation the blindfold was tied very tightly resulting in wounds to his nose and ears. He does not know how long the transfer took but, prior to the transfer, he reported being told by his detaining authorities that he would be going on a journey that would last twenty-four to thirty hours.

The detainee would be shackled by hands and feet and transported to the airport by road and loaded onto a plane. He would usually be transported in a reclined sitting position with his hands shackled in front. The journey times obviously varied considerably and ranged from one hour to over twenty-four to thirty hours. The detainee was not allowed to go to the toilet and if necessary was obliged to urinate or defecate into the diaper.

On some occasions the detainees were transported lying flat on the floor of the plane and/or with their hands cuffed behind their backs. When transported in this position the detainees complained of severe pain and discomfort. In addition to causing severe physical pain, these transfers to unknown locations and unpredictable conditions of detention and treatment placed mental strain on the fourteen, increasing their sense of disorientation and isolation. The ability of the detaining authority to transfer persons over apparently significant distances to secret locations in foreign countries acutely increased the detainees’ feeling of futility and helplessness, making them more vulnerable to the methods of ill-treatment described below.

The ICRC was informed by the US authorities that the practice of transfers was linked specifically to issues that included national security and logistics, as opposed to being an integral part of the program, for example to maintain compliance. However, in practice, these transfers increased the vulnerability of the fourteen to their interrogation, and was performed in a manner (goggles, earmuffs, use of diapers, strapped to stretchers, sometimes rough handling) that was intrusive and humiliating and that challenged the dignity of the persons concerned.

As their detention was specifically designed to cut off contact with the outside world and emphasise a feeling of disorientation and isolation, some of the time periods referred to in the report are approximate estimates made by the detainees concerned. For the same reasons, the detainees were usually unaware of their exact location beyond the first place of detention in the country of arrest and the second country of detention, which was identified by all fourteen as being Afghanistan. This report will not enter into conjecture by referring to possible countries or locations of places of detention beyond the first and second countries of detention, which are named, and will refer, where necessary, to subsequent places of detention by their position in the sequence for the detainee concerned (eg. third place of detention, fourth place of detention). The ICRC is confident that the concerned authorities will be able to identify from their records which place of detention is being referred to and the relevant period of detention.

Moreover, the ICRC notes that four detainees believed that they had previously been held in Guantanamo, for periods ranging from one week to one year during 2003/4. They reported recognising this location upon return there in September 2006, as each had been allowed outdoors on a daily basis during their earlier time there. The ICRC has been assured by DoD that it was given full notification of and access to all persons held in Guantanamo during its regular detention visits. The ICRC is concerned, if the allegations are confirmed, it had in fact been denied access to these persons during the period in which they were detained there.



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