YATA (Omar Deghayes)

Yet Another Torture Allegation: US guards at Guantanamo tortured me, says UK man:

A British resident has claimed he was tortured by US guards at Guantanamo Bay, suffering violent sexual assaults, near drowning and an attack in which he was blinded.

The Independent on Sunday has been given a detailed account from Omar Deghayes of repeated abuse by American and Pakistani interrogators over the past three years including electric shocks and sodomy by US guards.

The allegations, made by human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith, have persuaded British ministers to take up Mr Deghayes's case.

In some of the most disturbing allegations to emerge from Guantanamo, Mr Deghayes also accuses US and Pakistani interrogators of beating him repeatedly since his arrest three years ago, smearing his face with human excrement, starving him of food, and withdrawing light and clothing.

I've left out the gory details, but they're there in the Independent if you want them.

Mr Deghayes's testimony was recorded during more than 20 hours of interviews by his US attorney, Clive Stafford Smith, in a Guantanamo Bay cell in January and March this year, and has only recently been cleared by US Department of Justice censors.

Mr Stafford Smith said he found Mr Deghayes's testimony “totally credible”. He added: “He has been treated worse in Guantanamo than any other person I have come across. He is legally trained and tries to help other people there, so the Americans think he's a trouble-maker. Consequently, he's suffered for it.”

The claims are understood to have shocked the Foreign Office minister Baroness Symons, and played a major part in the Government's decision to directly intervene in the cases of five British residents still held at Guantanamo Bay. Until now, the UK has refused to intervene.

Mr Deghayes's case has alarmed human rights lawyers because the US has allowed Libyan intelligence officers to interrogate him in Cuba – even though he is a refugee from Col Gaddafi's regime.

Mr Stafford Smith said they could now “conclusively prove” that Mr Deghayes was the victim of mistaken identity. They had established that video footage allegedly showing him in Chechnya was of another man, who is now dead. Mr Deghayes had never been to Chechnya, the lawyer insisted.

Mr Deghayes was seized in the Pakistani city of Lahore in April 2002 by armed local intelligence officers, and alleges he was immediately subjected to repeated torture, threats against his wife and children, and violent assaults by his captors.

He claims the Pakistani interrogators told him they were holding him at US request, and insisted they had no interest in him. He claimed: “I underwent systematic beatings every night for three days. Each time, when I was nearly unconscious, I would be thrown back into the cell to await more.”

Oh, and there's lots more after that.

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