View Full Version : Report: No sign of abuse at Gitmo

07-29-03, 05:51 AM
Report: No sign of abuse at Gitmo

By Frank Griffiths
Associated Press

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A congressional delegation visited the prison for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay amid complaints of abuse by inmates.
The six representatives toured the Navy base in Cuba on Saturday, viewing interrogation rooms and discussing techniques for questioning, said Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Maryland.

Two of 16 Afghan prisoners who were released a week ago said that they were beaten, kept restrained or placed in cold, overcrowded rooms. The military denied mistreating inmates.

Ruppersberger, a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said military officials took him into interrogations rooms and explained what techniques they used. He said he was not present for any questioning and did not see any evidence of abuse.

“They went to great lengths to show us the how [interrogations] were handled,” Ruppersberger said by phone after returning to Washington.

The United States holds about 660 prisoners from 42 countries on suspicion of links to the al-Qaida terrorist network or Afghanistan’s ousted Taliban regime. None have been allowed to meet with attorneys.

U.S. authorities have released about 70 detainees and moved about 120 to a medium-security wing where they get more exercise, books and other liberties for cooperating in interrogations.

“The entire operation is very impressive,” Ruppersberger said.

The prison’s location at the U.S. naval base at the eastern end of Cuba puts the detainees out of the jurisdiction of American courts and constitutional protections, a situation that has been criticized by lawyers and human rights groups.

Ruppersberger, a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said he saw interrogation rooms but was not present for any interrogations.

Copyright 2003 The Associated Press