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)  

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32 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Begg’s experience is more or less same as experienced by Kamunting’s classic case of ‘kuman diseberang lautan nampak,gajah depan mata tak nampak’..put your house in order first,will you..

    • are you for real? surrogate means substitute or replacement

      send in the real mccoy not a dimwit who speaks from the other organ

      here we usually utilise the brain

      • Ray? I prefer blazing sunshine..

        That’s the problem with your species: shooting the messenger instead of solving the issue

        With a half-baked brain,nothing much to expect of course..


  2. Surrogate

    Raja Petra used to tell us that Kemunting is Holiday Inn. Believe you are seeing “kuman” as “gajah”.

    ISA has law and procedure but not what the American had done on the innocent common people tortured as “combatant of war” and denied any rights.

    By asking us to put our house in order first, you are subtly supporting the torture, violence, injustice and insult on humanity of a massive scale by the American?

    Goerge W Bush and Tony Blair would surely appreciate your sympathy for them.

  3. to,

    a voice

    Prior to the USA adopting Terrorist Act,similar with ISA,the ‘I told you so’ echoed through the nation.

    They really make us proud!

    Imagine if this brouhaha at PWTC were held in one corner of Tel Aviv..

    Bear in mind besides our beloved country,only Israel & Singapore still practicing this Draconian act.

    The people in power will always oppress in the name of law and order.

    Still proud? I told you so..


    • I am for amending ISA

      But how about telling me of any documented case of anyone murdered in Kemunting? Tortured till handicapped? Mutilated? Denied practise of their religion (save for going to tmple, church and masjid)?

      If you can’t answer, I know the answer already.

      I suggest you come here and listen to the testimonial or if it is too late, google and find out what the Iraqi and Guantanamo victims went through?

      Then you will find Kemunting is not just Holiday Inn, its NY’s Waldorf Astoria.

      Until you know what is going on, then you are just an armchair cynic talking in comfort in front of your computer.

      Ibrahim Ali went in for ISA detention twice and yet he still defend the need for ISA.

      You dont know what you are talking about.

      • Bro,

        You really missed the boat,don’t you?No one argued about the war victim’s sufferings.Round up the perpetrators and put these animal behind bar,be it Bush,Blair etc

        It’s the hypocrisy.Just because the torture were less severe than Guantanamo,does that permit us to deny the very basic principle of human right of our own people?

        Show me how to amend a rotten fish of ISA and I’ll show you a whiter Robert Mugabe

        I Begg to differ!

        And I wonder how the local organisers and audience could keep a straight face whenever Mr. Begg moaning about not getting a fair trial at court of law



      • When one’s scepticism, one goes on into a spin.

        When one could not reply a poser, one continue to be rhetorical.

  4. Surrogate
    If Nordin Md Top and Azhari were detained earlier under ISA, do you think whatever happened in Indonesia would happened?

    If KLCC is bombed by sympathisers of AlQaeda, LTTE or Southern Thai Separatist or whoever and killed hundreds of people, no law in the world can charge the perpetrators because they will also die in the carnage.

    What offence are we to charge Mas Selamat? Or do you think we should set him free?

    Amend, yes. Abolish, No.

    • Askar Melayu,

      Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) said: A woman was punished because she had kept a cat tied until it died, and (as a punishment of this offence) she was thrown into the Hell. She had not provided it with food, or drink, and had not freed her so that she could eat the insects of the earth.

      * Narrated in Saheeh Muslim, Book 026, Number 5570

      Even an animal has their own right..


  5. Surrogate,

    Ko ni apala banggang sangat. Malaysia ada perlembagaan, yg kata ada akta ISA. Maknanya wakil rakyat, yg mewakili rakyat setuju ada + boleh guna ISA.

    Setahu aku, Sami Al Haji dan Muazam Begg ditahan tentera Pakistan dan diserahkan kpd tentera US, SEBELUM ADA PATRIOT ACT!!! Maknanya, penahanan mereka HARAM!!! Dan sebagai org Islam, mereka diseksa dlm Guantanamo Bay sebab mereka org Islam!!!

    Ada tak antara org yg dipenjarakan secara HARAM ni org bukan Islam atau bukan org putih????


    Ini soal mengharamkan peperangan!

    • Anak Watan,

      You do not need ISA to be an Idi Amin,or Pol Pot,or Saddam,but still successfully oppressing their own people in the name of unity and in doing so received anonymous backing by their respective Constitution and Parliament
      Does that make us feel any better..ohh..boy

      While USA and allies doing it in big scale,normally arresting militant and saboteur,we on the other hand go one step further : journalist,peace demonstrator,opposition leaders..

      Yes,the real issue is banning war,but how could you pretend or refuse to admit ‘your own son shit at your doorstep’

      Mind boggling..


    • The difference between ISA, which is ‘Constitutional’ in spirit and part of the original Federation of Malaya Constitution and Patriot Act:

      1. ISA was designed to arrest persons threat to Malaysian Internal Security. Malaysian authorities dont go abroad arresting foreign nationals. Even they go abroad arresting Malaysians who threat Malaysian Internal Security from overseas (just like Raja Petra)

      2. Patriot Act is a ‘thought after’ legislation. It means Americans enact a law to justifiy their acts to do barbarism, under the cover of “fighting terrorism”. The act allows US Forces to illegally and forcefully ‘kidnap’ people of other nationalities in the own home (which is not even American soil or jurisprudence on American laws).

      3. This article is about US enforcing their own specifically enacted laws onto others, illegally and outside their territories. It is about using ‘terrorism’ to engage and wage an unlawful war and then torture people.

      4. Majority of Malaysians still want ISA. Only leftists and anti establishment Malaysians, which include people who want to provoke or even belittle the majority against what is enshrined in the Constitution such as Articles 153 (Special Malay Rights), 3 (Islam), 121 (Courts) and Malay as the national language etc., is afraid of provisions such as ISA.

      5. Like it has been argued by A Voice, no one ever died in ISA detention as opposed to Guantanamo Bay or Bagram Air Base. Many persons I personally know had a good time being detained in Kamunting, which include Raja Petra.

      Yes, Anak Watan is right. The Conference is about Criminalising War and taking action against people who torture other nationals after waging an illegal war.

      Please stick to the context of the article, which is reflective of the conference. If you have an anti ISA agenda, please use the relevant posting or go to another blog which is discussing ISA.

      • Yessir!

        I’ll abide by the rule..


      • Heard that.
        Torture own citizen = OK
        Torture Foreigner = NOT OK

      • Slim Shady

        You with a half-baked brain,nothing much to expect of course ..
        (i copy paste from surrogate)

        It seems you dont reed the discussion in here , just with you stupid rhetoric .

  6. surrogate says, “It’s the hypocrisy”

    exactly america’s hypocrisy that is

    champion of human rights, oh really?

    it’s all for oil, where’s the WMD?

    • Bro ray,

      You are right,I myself against the USA’s terrorism,and the above mention quotation was directed to the policy holder of the detention camps without trial,be it Guantanamo,Kemunting..

      Hey,what’s wrong with you anyway?I’m with you man..


      • If you are against Guantanamo, then stick to that. Please do not bring irrelevant points such as Kamunting out of context into this article.

        You are free to argue against Kamunting when we are discussing ISA.

      • Kamunting & ISA is relevant in discusion. Guantanamo is detaining people without warrant or charging them in court of law. So too is ISA.

        Can we have a article by RPK saying Kamunting is a Holiday Inn? There are many accounts by ex-detainee telling of physical & mental torture in that ISA camp.

        Close Guantanamo. And also close Kamunting & outlaw ISA.

  7. I would like to see how surrogate carry his argument.

    In case he/she wish to know, I am all too familiar with his side of the divide having been one during my idealistic youth.

    Too familiar how they usually lose their sense of reference, proportion, and information (more lack of information and application of half truth).

    Too familiar with the profile of characters with such kind of thinking. Usually near mereng type the likes of Mansor Putih, Tian Chua, etc.

    Maybe surrogate is an exception.

  8. To a voice,

    It’s like passing by an accident scene,you refused to stop and help sending the victim to hospital,afraid that it might soil your expensive car..
    thinking “it’s ok someone will offer their help,anyway it won’t happen to me or my relatives”..

    It’s fardhu kifayah bro,

    Nothing to do with being idealistic or mereng,
    just “agree to disagree”

    Otherwise,it defeat the purpose of having SOPO blogs,but full of “anguk2,geleng2”


    • Surrogate

      I agree to “agree to disagree”.

      But, we should have reasonable reasons of the proper perspective and nawaitu to disagree. And not disagree for the sake of disagreeing.

      The way I see it is highly improper of you to be cynical of the criminalise war effort just because the causes you believe in ie ISA not met or you are cynical with certain people.

    • what’s wrong with angguk2 geleng2 if it makes us happy, eh??

      better that campak batu sembunyi tangan …

      what was your definition of sopo blogs’ purpose, may I humbly ask?

      didn’t know you are the resident EXPERT on SOPO blogs

      heh heh, kesian dia

  9. Surrogate

    Yep, animals have rights but don’t you think the common people also have rights to live their lives in peace? The 200 people who died in Bali and the recent ones in Jakarta? In India? What rights are Azahari and Nordin thinking about to blow -up these innocent people and what it will do to their families?

    There’s a need to balance the rights of an individual and the society. ISA is not perfect, no law is perfect but its benefits outweigh any tragedy that might happened.

    Surrogate, you have not answered my earlier questions but may I add another one, ever wonder why DAP, HINDRAF, PKR or even PAS did not vigirously campaign for the release of Mas Selamat as they did for the rest?

    And thank you for patronising my jahil self with the hadith.

    • Bro askar melayu,

      As a matter of respect to bigdog,I won’t dwell into these wilderness

      Like it or not,I’ve already make my point

      Your last sentence really humbled me,I appreciate that

      To bigdog,thanks

      I’m with you in criminalising war

      “Don’t kill the messenger”

  10. Surrogate says, “Ray? I prefer blazing sunshine..

    That’s the problem with your species: shooting the messenger instead of solving the issue

    With a half-baked brain,nothing much to expect of course”

    ‘Ray’ as in STINGray, bahalol!! At least not a SUBSTITUTE – you see the problem with substitutes is that they are made to sit on the bench, all the while frustrated at not being able to play as first line-up.

    They also have a false sense of their own importance, as seen clearly in your comments here.

    You are definitely GUILTY of shooting the messenger as in criticising BigDog for relaying the message.

    YOUR species are actually unwelcome but true to character, gate-crashes and IMPOSE your pseudo-intellectual outpourings all over the blogs.

    Brains are usually not baked my dear. See, we usually say low IQ, in polite terms.

    So far no concrete ideas from you on “solving the issue” (to use your own words).

    What we have is, free SPACE to vent your personal frustrations and anger.

    I truly hope you do not employ an Indonesian maid. She might just be your punching bag, as seen in the latest case of maid murder.

    • Bro,

      As a matter of respect to bigdog,I won’t dwell into these wilderness

      Like it or not,I’ve already make my point

      To bigdog,thanks

      I’m with you in criminalising war

      “Don’t kill the messenger”

      • heh heh

        white flag huh?

        I believe in shooting to KILL the false prophet

  11. This is what someone wrote about Tun Mahathir Mohamad, and I agree and he must continue to do so: “Our elder statesman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has once against gathered the good citizens of the world to speak up against the war-mongers. It takes courage to do that. May he enjoy good health and many more years so that he can continue to fight.”


    When Tun Mahathir Mohamad was our prime minister Malaysia, and to my dismay, gave our highest military award to Chile General Augustino Pinochet. When I protested in my column I was called by the then director of the military intelligence and he gave me a mouthful. But I stated my stand.
    When democratically elected Chilean socialist president Salvador Allande was killed and subsequent to that thousands of pro-Allende’s supporters disappeared presumably murdered by Pinochet’s secret police. Then one day, many years later, Pinochet flew into Malaysia and we accorder him with our highest military award. So just to get a right perspective here that while we lauded Mahahtir anti-war efforts he, at the same time, should have sought proper advise when awarding anything to state leaders, especially a facist mass murderer like Pinochet.
    On the same note if we have the strong resolve we should have also rrested Tony Blair and charge him for genocide, all it takes is one Iraqi to lodge a complaint. Somebody did exactly the same to Pinochet while he was in Spain and he was arrested.
    Sometime I wonder if Malaysia is only good at retrospective thinking nothing more and nothing less than that

    • Pinochet was a Leader of Chile, who is a friend to Malaysia. Chilea, under Pinochet did not wage an illegal war against another country. Nor did they they illegally extract non Chileans in another country and prison and torture them in Chilean prisons.

      As far as Malaysia is concerned, Chilea handled domestic issues.

      Its different from what Bush and Blair did. Bush and Blair waged an illegal war against Afghanistan and later Iraq and merciless extract non Americans and Non Brits out of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq and take them to Guantanamo to torture them.

      That is an act of an illegal war!

      On that note, Chile never got around reprimanding Pinochet for his crimes against the Chilean people (when they had all the opportunities). Pinochet died in a military hospital. Even Chilean military gave him a Commander in Chief, drapped in Chilean flag and flag flew half mast. Had Chileans reprimanded Pinochet as a criminal before 1995, I don’t think Malaysia would accord him with any awards.

    • ‘On the same note if we have the strong resolve we should have also rrested Tony Blair and charge him for genocide, all it takes is one Iraqi to lodge a complaint.”

      Sorry to step in like this. If what you say is true, you will make millions of people in this world happy.Remember those anti-war demonstrators in major cities of the world. They begged, pleaded, don’t attack Iraq.

      I am sure you can find more that one Iraqis to logde a complaint against Blair. Some of them are still here in Malaysia.

      Or are you just talking cock?


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