Ambassador Rejects Russian's Guantanamo Abuse Claims
29 June 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The U.S. ambassador to Russia says he doubts a statement by a former prisoner at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay that inmates were tortured and gassed and that guards routinely profaned the Koran.
He makes the abuse allegations in his suit. AP quotes him as saying he never saw the defiling of the Koran but was told of it by a cellmate.
U.S. Ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow is visiting today in Kazan, capital of the Russian republic of Tatarstan. Asked about Vakhitov's charges, Vershbow insisted that conditions at Guantanamo Bay are human and that any misuse of the Koran would have been isolated and contrary to regulations.
Vakhitov said in a newspaper interview that he was abducted by terrorists during a visit to Tajkistan. He said his captors took him to Afghanistan and sold him to U.S. authorities for $5,000 as a terrorist. He said he is suing not primarily for compensation but to clear his name.
Copyright (c) 2005. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org
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