Guantanamo Britons tell Bush of torture ordeal

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The Independent US

Two of the Britons released from detention at Guantanamo Bay have written an open letter to George Bush detailing tortures that they allege were inflicted on them.

Shafiq Rasul and Asif Iqbal, from Tipton in the West Midlands, detailed a string of abuses which they claim were inflicted upon them by US interrogators at the American camp for suspected terrorists in Cuba.

Their detailed allegations bear strong similarities to the allegations now being levelled at US personnel in Iraq.

The men's lawyer, Barbara Olshansky, of the American Centre for Constitutional Rights, said on the BBC Radio 4 Today programme: "Really what they are trying to do is to make sure that it is clear to the world that what happened to them didn't happen in a vacuum and this is very much part of the policy of the American military in handling all these various situations around the world.

"They were very clear that they were shackled for hours on end, and made to stand in stressed positions when being questioned by the military interrogators. They were subjected to threatening dogs, freezing cold temperatures, being made to stand naked, the same type of humiliation and stress techniques that were used in Iraq.

"I think that they are quite clear that this was the policy in place at Guantanamo Bay. They have made clear from the outset that, right from the moment of their arrival, they were subjected to these types of interrogation and intimidation methods.

"It appeared to them that this was the routine and the method of extracting information from people there."

The lawyer said her organisation hoped to extract concrete evidence from the US authorities about techniques used at Guantanamo Bay.

"As an initial first step we would be filing habeas petitions. Ultimately we would hope to find out much more about what happened there.

"Mr Iqbal and Mr Rasul made clear that they were videotaped and photographed for the duration of their detention.

"Of course we will seek everything that relates to their detention and the detention of others with the idea towards revealing for the public what happened there and perhaps taking action based on the information that we find."