Canadian says U.S. interrogators threatened rape

Thu Mar 20, 2008 7:35am EDT
 
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By Jane Sutton

MIAMI (Reuters) - A young Canadian prisoner held at Guantanamo said in legal documents that U.S. interrogators repeatedly threatened to rape him and Canadian government visitors told him they were powerless to do anything.

The claims were part of an affidavit sworn by Omar Khadr, 21, who is charged in the Guantanamo war court with murdering a U.S. soldier with a grenade during a firefight in Afghanistan when Khadr was 15.

Khadr has long claimed he was abused by American interrogators in Bagram, Afghanistan, after his capture in July 2002 and at the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Naval base in Cuba, where he was taken a few months later.

The previously undisclosed allegations of the rape threats were part of a nine-page affidavit released by the U.S. military on Wednesday, with some of the names and details blacked out.

"On several occasions at Bagram, interrogators threatened to have me raped, or sent to other countries like Egypt, Syria, Jordan or Israel to be raped," Khadr said in the document.

He said interrogators told him at one point that the Egyptians would send "Soldier No. 9" to rape him.

Khadr was shot twice in the back and suffered shrapnel wounds in the eye during the battle that led to his capture at a suspected al Qaeda compound. After treatment at a field hospital, he was taken to a prison in Bagram, where he was hooded, threatened him with barking dogs and had water thrown on him, he said in the document.

Khadr said he was often shackled for hours during interrogations and denied use of a bathroom, forcing him to urinate on himself.   Continued...

 
<p>Omar Khadr is seen in this undated family portrait. Khadr, a young Canadian prisoner held at Guantanamo, said in legal documents that U.S. interrogators repeatedly threatened to rape him and Canadian government visitors told him they were powerless to do anything. REUTERS/Handout/Files</p>