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Al-Jazeera: Gitmo detainee called to protest treatment

MIAMI — A Guantanamo detainee used his prison camp telephone privileges to ring up a reporter with the Middle Eastern news network Al-Jazeera and complain that he had been abused by prison camp guards, the U.S. military and network said Tuesday.

Mohammed al-Gharani, whose attorneys say he was captured at age 14 in Pakistan, got the phone privileges in Camp Iguana, a transitional holding site for detainees awaiting release.

He is a citizen of Chad who was in Pakistan studying at the time he was captured by security forces and turned over to the United States for interrogation.

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon ordered Gharani's release on Jan. 14 in a ruling that found the Pentagon's "mosaic of allegations" did not justify his indefinite detention as an al-Qaida suspect. He has been held at Guantanamo without charge since 2002.

Two weeks ago, the young Gharani could be plainly seen living inside Camp Iguana, a razor-wire-ringed compound that has greater privileges, including fast-food deliveries, group prayer and sports.

But Gharani told Al-Jazeera, according to a posting on the Web site Tuesday, that he had been beaten and tear-gassed in a prison camp cell, an apparent reference to his earlier captivity in a steel and concrete prison cell.

A prison camps spokesman, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Brook DeWalt, said there was "no evidence to substantiate these claims and all credible allegations are fully investigated."

Al-Jazeera: Gitmo detainee called to protest treatment 04/15/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, April 15, 2009 11:23pm]
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