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Released Briton details assault, torture at Guantanamo

[JURIST] Another former Guantanamo Bay prisoner has come forward with allegations of torture and abuse by US personnel. Sunday's UK Independent newspaper has disclosed that British national Moazzam Begg [Cageprisoners.com profile], one of four Britons released from the facility last week [JURIST report], wrote a 25-page report of his imprisonment that includes allegations of torture, repeated assault, and near-suffocation. The report, written by Begg while in solitary confinement, also claims that his captors threatened his family, killed other prisoners, and interrogated him more than 250 times. Begg, who ran an Islamic bookstore in England, was captured in Pakistan by US forces in 2002, at which point he says he was taken to Bagram airbase in Afghanistan, where he allegedly was badly beaten and nearly suffocated while being interrogated. Begg also claims that he was coerced into signing a confession in February 2003 that said he is a member of al-Qaida, and further alleges that tactics including sleep deprivation, threats of execution, beatings, and racial or religious taunts were commonly employed by American interrogators to extract confessions. The released prisoners have not been charged with acts of terrorism, but the have been said to remain a "significant threat" and may be held under bail-style restrictions or house arrest under new emergency anti-terrorism powers being sought by British Home Secretary Charles Clarke. Britain's The Independent has more. Read a previous Paper Chase report on Begg's allegations of abuse and mistreatment at the hands of his American captors, first made in a letter to American authorities in July.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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