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

February 2007

2. CONDITIONS OF DETENTION IN LATER STAGES

The ICRC notes that conditions of detention and treatment, following the initial period during which the methods described above were used, gradually improved. The timing for the implementation of these improvements varied for each detainee and appears linked to the needs of the interrogation. The introduction of improvements appears to mark the transition from the phase where compliance was obtained by force to what resembled a more incentive-based approach (see Section 1.3 for examples of approximate timeframes).

Following the initial stages of interrogation described above, all detainees were provided with clean clothes on a weekly basis, were gradually provided with solid food three times per day (although some complaints of quality and quantity lasted throughout), and were provided with books in English or their mother tongue and magazines.

In the latter stages of detention, usually six to eight months after arrest, all fourteen were provided with toilet facilities in their cells, to which they had unlimited access, some also had unlimited access to washbasins, and all were able to shower either on a weekly basis or more often. After a period which varied between several months to two and a half years following the arrest, all detainees were allowed to move from their cells to a closed indoor area in which they were able to use exercise machines. Also in the latter stages of detention, the cell temperature was usually maintained at a proper level. In the final place of detention prior to their arrival in Guantanamo, some detainees were able to watch a film on a weekly basis and/or use a portable DVD player.

Although each of these aspects represents an improvement in the situation in which the fourteen were held, such improvements must be understood against the earlier background of severe ill-treatment and ongoing threats of such treatment, continuous solitary confinement and incommunicado detention, ongoing transfers, and the lack of legal framework governing their detention.



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