Russian released from Guantanamo sues US for alleged abuses

Russian released from Guantanamo sues US for alleged abuses

[JURIST] A Muslim Russian national held at Guantanamo [JURIST news archive] from summer 2002 to February 2004 has filed a lawsuit against the US government alleging rights abuses. At a press conference on Tuesday in Moscow Airat Vakhitov – formerly an imam at a mosque in Tatarstan – said the abuses, such as being denied sleep, were mostly psychological [MosNews report], but he also echoed reports by other prisoners and US personnel [JURIST report] of abuse to the Koran [JURIST report], saying it was "thrown in the toilet in our presence." Captured in Afghanistan after being kidnapped by Islamic militants and taken there, he said one of the hardest parts of his ordeal was a flight from Kandahar to Guantanamo where he and other prisoners had to wear glasses, masks, and chains bound so tight as to leave scars: "Many people fainted due to a lack of oxygen [and] some went crazy during the flight." Vakhitov was released without facing charges months after he was returned to Russia. RIA Novosti has more.