Three years to the day since they were sent to Guantanamo Bay, plans have been announced to free the last four UK citizens held in cages without trial. It is expected that they will be freed without trial following further interrogation by anti-terrorist officers, just like the five men released last March.
In July 2003 Bush decided that two of the prisoners should face a military tribunal, but this was abandoned after a public outcry forced the British government to criticise the move. Blair even made a personal request for their release last year, but this was rejected.
The solicitor representing two of the men said: "The British citizens have now served the equivalent of a six-year prison service, without being told what the charges against them are. They have been tortured and ill-treated."
For example; one prisoner was allegedly handcuffed and suspended from a bar during his detention while another was kept shackled for so long that he wet himself. It is also alleged that one of the men has been diagnosed as suffering from serious depression.
About 550 men remain in captivity Guantanamo Bay. None have been charged.
Meanwhile, in the trial of Specialist Charles Graner Jr (who allegedly tortured detainees in Abu Ghraib) the defence lawyer yesterday argued that placing inmates in a pyramid was not torture, noting "Don't cheerleaders all over America make pyramids every day?" However, cheerleaders are not usually naked and shackled.
Private Jeremy Sivits (who plead guilty to taking part in abuse in May 2004), said Graner " was trying to get the job done, but he was also laughing and having a good time,"
Graners lawyers have suggested that he was only following orders, and that government officials only blamed his client after the pictures sparked outrage around the world.Return to Top