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Guantanamo claims by UK ex-detainee

Press Association, UK
Aug. 3, 2004 • Wednesday August 4, 2004

Full details of a catalogue of abuse and degrading treatment allegedly suffered by a former British Guantanamo Bay detainee have emerged.

Tarek Dergoul, 26, a former care worker from east London, said he was forced to look at pornographic magazines and subjected to “very loud” American music during interrogations at the American base.

He alleged that American officials threatened he would be sent to Morocco or Egypt to be tortured, and that he suffered repeated strip searches and sleep deprivation.

During cell searches by the guards wearing riot gear – known as the Extreme Reaction Force – the soldiers “poked their fingers in my eyes, banged my head on the floor and kicked and punched me and tied me up like a beast”.

He added: “They often forced my head into the toilet.”

The guards also sprayed him with pepper spray which caused him to vomit on several occasions, he said.

Mr Dergoul, who was released without charge in March, claimed that he was kept in “freezing” conditions at Camp Delta, in Cuba.

“I fear that from being kept in such freezing conditions I have developed rheumatism,” he said in a witness statement released by his lawyers.

Claims of mistreatment have been reported since five of the nine Britons held at the base were released, including an outline of Mr Dergoul’s claims against the American authorities.

But this was the first time a detailed report of his allegations had been published.

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