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FBI memo shows repeated detainee complaints over Koran mistreatment

[JURIST] In a 2002 FBI document made public Wednesday, an FBI agent wrote that a detainee held at Guantanamo Bay naval base claimed that military jailers flushed the Koran down the toilet, a claim paralleling one made in a recent Newsweek report which was later retracted after deadly riots in Afghanistan and backtracking by an anonymous Pentagon source. The document and others were released by the American Civil Liberties Union [ACLU press release] after they were obtained under the Freedom of Information Act; the collection consists of FBI summaries of interviews with detainees between 2002 and 2003. According to the documents detainees also accused guards of kicking or throwing the Koran [FBI records] sometimes prompting threats of hunger strikes or mass suicides. Pentagon spokesman Lawrence DiRita said allegations of Koran mistreatment were looked into at the time they were made and were not found to be credible. He also said that certain detainees knew that if they made such allegations it would agitate other detainees. ACLU lawyer Jameel Jaffer said detainee statements may be more credible than US government statements. AFP has more.

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