Guantanamo turns four

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Amnesty International has a report out today marking the fourth anniversary of the first detainee transfers to Guantanamo. It contains new testimonies from current and former detainees alleging physical and psychological torture and seemingly routine sadism.

One detainee, Jumah al-Dossari, a 32-year-old Bahraini national, describes being threatened with rape and severely beaten, and having his head smashed repeatedly against the floor until he lost consciousness. (He also describes having cigarettes stubbed out on his skin and being urinated on by US marines in Afghanistan.) Another, Sami al Hajj, a 35-year-old Sudanese cameraman who worked for al-Jazeera in Afghanistan, describes a range of ill-treatment and more than three years of interrogations “focused on getting me to say that there is a relationship between al-Jazeera and al Qaeda.”

Amnesty says there are still more than 500 detainees at Guantanamo. Read the report here.

Note: Last year Mother Jones interviewed Clive Stafford Smith, a British human rights lawyer representing Guantanamo detainees (inlcuding Sami al Hajj), and Michael Ratner, head of the Center for Constitutional Rights and author of Guantanamo: What the World Should Know. And Emily Bazelon, writing in the March/April issue of Mother Jones, detailed how controversial interrogation techniques used by the US military in Afghanistan “migrated” to American prisons in Iraq.

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This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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