GUANTANAMO INMATES SAID IN WORSE CONDITIONS
Some Guantanamo Bay prisoners have been moved to a new wing where they face the worst conditions since their arrival, as interrogators make a last attempt to extract confessions, a U.S. lawyer said on Friday.
Zachary Katznelson, who represents 36 detainees, said that since he last saw his clients there in December at least 160 of the 395 prisoners had been moved to solitary confinement in "Camp 6", the latest modern facility to be opened at the base.
"Since they were moved, every lawyer is reporting clients extremely depressed, some becoming psychotic. The men say this is the harshest treatment since they arrived five years ago," Katznelson said in an interview with Reuters.
More than 770 people have been held at the U.S. military base in Cuba since the prison camp opened there in January 2002, and only 10 have been charged with crimes. About 395 remain, suspected of links to al Qaeda and the Taliban and kept in modern maximum security cells.
Many people have called for the detainees to be charged with crimes or released. U.S. officials say they are a threat to the United States and could return to the battlefields of Afghanistan and Iraq if released.
Inmates in the new camp were locked "in extreme isolation in six-foot by eight-foot cells with lights on 24 hours and all they have are an inch-thin mattress, a steel platform to sleep, a steel sink and toilet and the Koran," Katznelson said.
"They are turning on air-conditioning up to a maximum, freezing the prisoners," said the U.S. lawyer, a senior counsel with the British-based rights group Reprieve.