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FBI Reports Duct-Taping, 'Baptizing' at Guantanamo
Date: Wednesday, January 03 2007
Topic:


FBI Reports Duct-Taping, 'Baptizing' at Guantanamo

By Dan Eggen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 3, 2007; A01

FBI agents witnessed possible mistreatment of the Koran at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, including at least one instance in which an interrogator squatted over Islam's holy text in an apparent attempt to offend a captive, according to bureau documents released yesterday.

In October 2002, a Marine captain allegedly squatted over a copy of the Koran during intensive questioning of a Muslim prisoner, who was "incensed" by the tactic, according to an FBI agent. A second agent described similar events, but it is unclear from the documents whether it was a separate case.

In another incident that month, interrogators wrapped a bearded prisoner's head in duct tape "because he would not stop quoting the Koran," according to an FBI agent, the documents show. The agent, whose account was corroborated by a colleague, said that a civilian contractor laughed about the treatment and was eager to show it off.

The reports amount to new and separate allegations of religiously oriented tactics used against Muslim prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. After an erroneous report of Koran abuse prompted deadly protests overseas in 2005, the U.S. military conducted an investigation that confirmed five incidents of intentional and unintentional mishandling the book at the detention facility. They acknowledged that soldiers and interrogators had kicked the Koran, had stood on it and, in one case, had inadvertently sprayed urine on a copy.

The reports released yesterday were the result of an internal survey conducted in 2004 by the FBI, which asked nearly 500 employees who had served at Guantanamo Bay to report possible mistreatment by law enforcement or military personnel. More than two dozen incidents were reported, including some that the government had revealed in earlier document releases.

The new documents were turned over as part of an ongoing lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union.

In them, FBI employees said they had witnessed 26 incidents of possible mistreatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay, including previously reported cases in which prisoners were shackled to the floor for extended periods of time or subjected to sexually suggestive tactics by female interrogators.

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