« Return to Search Results


Email from Jonathan B. Schwartz to Michael J. Dennis, Katherine M. Gorove and others re: U.S. systematic abuse of Afghan prisoners

May 13, 2004 | DOS | ACLU-RDI 3842

Email includes news articles about high level detainees, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah and the "harsh" interrogation methods the CIA employs. The email includes another article, which reports specific accounts of abuse.

  • Unknown date, Kandahar, Afghanistan
    • Unknown, Afghanistan
    • A detainee, being held in western Afghanistan, told the Human Rights Watch interviewers that the American soldiers blindfolded them, stripped them completely naked, made them sit in a cold room (while they shivered and trembled). He then recounted the events that took place when he was transported to Kandahar. He said he was naked, a strong individual held him by his neck under their arm and punched him hard in the face and punched his two front teeth out (the interviewer noticed his missing teeth).
  • Unknown date, Kandahar, Afghanistan
    • A detainee being held in Kandahar reported to a Human Rights Watch interviewer that the American soldiers were very rude to him after the plane landed in Kandahar. He stated that it was cold and that the soldiers threw him and the other detainees out in the desert for more than an hour. He claimed that the guards beat him and the others mercilessly, without reason. He said they kicked and punched them, primarily on their backs. The officers also shaved their hair and their beards/mustaches. He recalled one instance where an individual picked him up over his head and threw him onto the desk and made him lie there while two others kneed him in the back and shoulders. The interviewer noted that the detainee's eyes were bruised.
  • Unknown date, Kandahar, Afghanistan
    • On January 3, 2004, a detainee described his detention and transport from northern Afghanistan to Kandahar to a Human Rights Watch interviewer. He explained that in early 2002, on a plane to Kandahar, the detainees were shackled and their eyes were covered; they were forced to sit with their legs stretched and hands behind them and the whole body bent onto the legs all the way (he demonstrated by kneeling and sitting on top of his calves and feet, with torso bent down over the knees). He recalled that it was very difficult to remain in that position, and if they fell to the side or moved, the armed men standing over them would beat them mercilessly with their army boots; they would kick them in their backs and kidneys. He also recalled, while getting out of the aircraft, a man pulling him up by the arm and throwing him down the stairs and then making him lie face up on the ground motionless. Finally, he claimed that in Kandahar the detainees were not allowed to speak to one another or, sleep; if they did either, they were beaten.