A Tunisian detainee testified Saturday
before a U.S. military review hearing that he was abused while in captivity
in Afghanistan before being brought to the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, a
military official said.
The 35-year-old Tunisian told the review panel he was held in the dark and
without sufficient drinking water for more than two months in Afghanistan,
said a military officer who served as the tribunal recorder and whose
identity was barred from being disclosed.
Military officials said the detainee was captured by the Northern Alliance
before being turned over to U.S. troops. The man didn’t specify which force
was holding him at the time of the alleged mistreatment, but he told the
panel the experience led him to falsely confess to training with militants,
the tribunal official said.
The Tunisian told the panel he made the false confessions due to the
”mistreatment he had received in Afghanistan, or as he phrased it,
torture,” the officer said.
As recently as March 2003, he allegedly told interrogators he had received
paramilitary training. But on Saturday he denied having received the
training, saying ”he’s been treated well” during two and a half years at
Guantanamo and ”felt there wasn’t going to be any retribution” if he told
the truth, the officer said.
It wasn’t possible to independently confirm the detainee’s words because a
group of journalists ended a five-day visit and left the naval base Saturday