Begg: I suffered through degradation and torture!


“I suffered through degradation and torture”, British national Moazzam Begg presented his case to the Kuala Lumpur Commission to Criminalise War in PWTC this morning, “We were detained in a cell where ten men share a bucket as a toilet. It is not only dirty and the stench was over bearing, its degradation!”.

Begg was arrested in Pakistan in 2001, just after the September 11 attack on the World Trade Centre and taken to a detention facility in Bagram, Afghanistan. He testified that he was tortured and treated as ‘inhuman’ in the detention centre for 11 months, before he was transfered to Guantanamo Bay for the next three years. In Guantanamo Bay, he was one of the pioneers for ‘Camp Echo’, a maximum security solitary confinement facility within the base.

When asked about him being allowed to practice Islam as a Muslim, “For three years, I did not do my weekly Friday prayers. When I was in solitary confinement, esp[ecially in Bagram, there was not even water to do abulution. We don’t even have water to wash. We are taken for showers every 2-3 weeks, even that it was communal. We were chained and showered together. For Muslims of traditional background, that is unbearable”.

“I did not know what day it is, what month it is. I did not know whether it is Ramadhan (holy month for fasting) or Eid. In Bagram, we can’t even recite the Holy Quran. For that matter, we can’t even talk to anyone (even with fellow detainees)”, he articulated in details his experience “Come and get your Quran and ‘learn’ to kill Americans!”.

“They read our mails. Then that is where our captors found our ‘weak’ point, which is our family. Once in Bagram, I was chained to the floor and a soldier stepped up to me and showed a photo of my wife (which they took from my home in Pakistan) and asked me “Do know what happened to her? Do you know where she is after the night we took you?”. And I could hear the cry of a woman being tortured in the next room and made to believe that is her!”.

“They did all they can to break my resolve”, he then described some of the torure methods, which include demonstration how he was shackled on the floor. “When ever they did not get the answers how they wanted, then they would threaten to send us to the execution chamber”.

Begg then testified that the mental torture was worse then the physical torture. When asked about visitation by physcians or psychiatrists, he said that once a woman psychiatrist visited him and suggested that he should commit suicide.


Published in: on October 30, 2009 at 10:14  Comments (32)