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Bay SOS 'was written in blood'

ABDULRAHMAN FAKHRI

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October 29, 2005

AN SOS written in blood on a prison cell wall spelled out the desperation of Bahraini Guantanamo detainee Juma Al Dossary.

It was his last resort after being continuously denied medical treatment as he grew increasingly ill in appalling conditions, he says in his handwritten diary of despair.

He claims he has been savagely beaten, tortured, sexually humiliated, fed bug-infested, rotten food and denied medical treatment, in a systematic campaign of abuse meted out for over three years.

His weight has dropped 30kg to 55kg and he is so weak he can barely stand, he says in the diary, written in July and just released to his lawyers by US authorities.

Mr Al Dossary says he regularly vomits blood, has heart and blood pressure problems, has fainting fits and suffers pains in his head, stomach and left arm - but has been persistently denied proper medical treatment.

The abuse has gone on since his arrest on the

Afghanistan/Pakistan border in December 2001, but took a new form after he complained about the conditions to his lawyer during a visit in March this year.

"In March this year I met my lawyer to discuss my case and I told him about all the torture and abuse that I went through here, but I didn't know that they were spying on us," he says in the diary.

"After the lawyer had left, a military man came to me and told me to forget about all that had happened to me and not to remember it or mention it again to anyone, otherwise I will not live in peace.

"After he left me, I was given spoiled food three times and when I complained I was told that this was what was provided for me. "Since then I have been sick." Mr Al Dossary says he sent his lawyer several letters to tell him about what happened, "but I don't know if he had received any of them".

At the end of March, two American interrogators and an agent from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) questioned him.

"They were threatening me and yelling at me in the interrogation room, where they also took from me my belongings and letters from my family," he says.

The interrogators also allegedly spoke to the camp doctor to stop the special diet prescribed for Mr Al Dossary because of his stomach pain.

"They even stopped some of the treatment.

It has been sent by lawyers to the now dissolved Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, which has been co-ordinating a campaign for the release of six Bahrainis detained at Guantanamo.

Extracts detailing the allegations of abuse and Mr Al Dossary's despair were first published in the GDN yesterday. Bug-infested and rotten food became the specials of the day, making his health worse, says the 30-year-old, who has an 11-year-old daughter.

He describes how one evening in June this year he was given a plate of dinner, in which he found a dead scorpion.

"Since then I find bugs and cockroaches in my food," writes Mr Al Dossary.

At the end of June, Mr Al Dossary says he was bitten by a scorpion in his cell.

"I asked one of the soldiers to call the clinic, but no-one came until the morning, hours after I was bitten," he says.

"I had to squeeze out the poison myself and my leg became swollen and turned red.

"When the nurse finally came, I was given a painkiller and a tablet for the itch on my leg. "Now my health condition is worse. I vomit blood.

"Once I even vomited blood in a bucket and spilled it outside the cell and in front of a soldier, to explain to him that I was sick.

"He said he would talk to the clinic but, as usual, without any results.

"When I do complain to the clinic, they give painkillers only called Motrin, which has side effects that cause ulcers and harms the liver, kidney and stomach." Mr Al Dossary says he could hardly stand due to his weakness and dizziness.

In one incident, after vomiting blood, he says he used the blood to write on the wall of his cell: "I am sick and I need treatment."

Mr Al Dossary said his blood pressure fell to 90/50 and his heart beat rate was also low.

Mr Al Dossary tells how his condition worsened after he took part in a hunger strike in June this year, which ended the following month.

The prisoners were protesting conditions in the camp and demanding immediate trials or release.

Some have since launched a second hunger strike, saying nothing was done. Mr Al Dossary is listed by US authorities as an "enemy combatant".

They claim he went to Afghanistan in November 2001 as a member of Al Qaeda and that he was at Tora Bora, where Osama bin Laden was thought to be in hiding.

Mr Al Dossary allegedly crossed the border into Pakistan in December 2001 without any documentation and surrendered to Pakistani authorities.

Lawyers representing the Bahraini six say their best hope for freedom is if Bahrain reaches a deal with the US, as other countries have done.

Bahrain says it is "making progress" in talks aimed at bringing home the detainees.

The other five Bahraini detainees are Essa Al Murbati, Salah Abdul Rasool Al Blooshi, Adel Kamel Hajee, Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa and Abdulla Majid Al Naimi.


:: Article nr. 17294 sent on 30-oct-2005 02:55 ECT

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Link: www.gulf-daily-news.com/Story.asp?Article=125457&Sn=BNEW&IssueID=28222



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