"When he gets out I fear he will not be normal Omar. I'm sure he will
have changed," said Deghayes' mother, Zohra Zewawi.
CAIRO — The family of a British resident being held at the US
Guantanamo Bay prison camp have released a graphic diary detailing
abuse he faced at the hands of his captors, the Guardian reported
"I worry that something has happened to his mind. He is being
tortured. I read his diary. When he gets out I fear he will not be
normal Omar. I'm sure he will have changed," Zohra Zewawi, the mother
of Libyan national Omar Deghayes, told the Guardian.
Deghayes, 37, is one of five men who Britain asked the United States
to release from the controversial camp in Cuba last week.
Deghayes was arrested in Pakistan after the US invaded Afghanistan in
late 2001 in the wake of the 9/11 attacks before being taken to Bagram
in Afghanistan and then to Guantanamo.
His family says he had gone to Pakistan to start a business exporting
dried fruit to a leading supermarket.
He grew up in Brighton and studied law at Wolverhampton University and
then studied in Huddersfield.
Deghayes's case drew international headlines in 2005 after his lawyer
revealed that he was left blinded in one eye after a soldier plunged
his finger into it.
But this released diary, which he gave to a lawyer who visited him in
prison, contains far more graphic details than previously made public.
"It is very distressing and sad to go through and remember again,"
Deghayes says in his diary.
Deghayes's nightmarish experience began long before Guantanamo when he
was arrested in Pakistan where he says sadistically tortured by
"The more I scream they will laugh and do it again ... my screams all
in vain," he said.
He was then handed over to the Americans, who took him hooded to the
US military base in Bagram on one of the notorious rendition flights.
"Two soldiers locked their arms into mine and lifted me off the
ground. All my [weight] borne by my arms which were shackled behind my
"I was thrown in the plane. There were many others in the torture
position," he said in his diary.
In Bagram, Deghayes says, he was chained in a cage "with hands
stretched above [my] head ...causing suffocation."
He was subject there to a miscellany of torture techniques, the lesser
of which were electric shocks.
"They hold me naked in the night, freezing cold, and throw buckets of
water and fill the bucket and throw [it] again. I shiver and shake
badly and try to sit down to gain warmth. They kick and punch and say
stand up until I fall to the ground in weakness," he said.
Deghayes further witnessed two prisoners being killed by American
The first one was shot dead after he had gone to the aid of a
prisoner, who was being beaten and kicked by the guards.
The second was beaten to death.
"One by the name of Abdaulmalik, Moroccan and Italian, was beaten
until I heard no sound of him after the screaming. There was
afterwards panic in prison and the guards running about in fear saying
to each other the Arab has died. I have not seen this young man
again," Deghayes says.
Other prisoners were luckier that they did not die, but left paralyzed
and mentally damaged after rounds of beating, he noted.
Deghayes also faced starvation in Bagram, going without food for 45
days, which caused him hallucinations.
Forget About Law
In Guantanamo, US guards welcomed Deghayes with beating on his first
day and he came to realize that the kicks and assaults were a fixed
The Guantanamo prisoners, he says, were also given mystery injections.
Deghayes further confirmed that US guards threw a copy of the Noble
Qur'an in a toilet, which provoked him and his colleagues to revolt.
As a punishment his head and beard were shaved.
In Guantanamo, he says, "sexual abuse did occur", but says he can not
bear to relive the details until he is freed.
"It is very distressing and sad to go through and remember again."
Deghayes says he was told by FBI interrogators law does not apply to
"Many times one FBI interrogator by the name of Craig said, 'Omar, it
is nothing like the law you studied in the UK. There will never be a
proper court and lawyers etc, it would be only a military tribunal to
determine your future and your life. Your best choice is to cooperate
with me," he said.
Parts of Deghayes' counts are consistent with those from former
detainees, the Guardian said.
They further challenge US President George Bush's repeated claims that
the US does not use torture.
Mauritanian Guantanamo detainee details abuse,
says Americans desecrated Quran
NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania: A Mauritanian man who spent nearly five years
incarcerated at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay on Friday accused
American soldiers of desecrating the Quran by urinating and stepping
Though never tortured himself, Mohamed Lemine Ould Sidi Mohamed
compared his detention to torture, telling The Associated Press in an
interview: "Humiliating words against religion and against Muslims
were a kind of currency they used every day."
U.S. authorities handed Mohamed to Mauritania last week, and he was
briefly detained here. He was released Tuesday by Mauritanian officials.
During his incarceration by the Americans, Mohamed said he witnessed
the abuse of the Muslim holy book.
"The soldiers urinated on the holy Quran to humiliate us. They stepped
on the holy book and told us we are a nation that does not understand
civilization," Mohamed said in Mauritania's desert capital, Nouakchott.
Afterward, he and other inmates he claimed witnessed similar incidents
went on a hunger strike, and U.S. officials force fed him, he said.
The inmates decided thereafter not to take Qurans into their cells to
protect the book, relying instead on memorized passages, he said.
Following media reports that sparked protests around the world, a U.S.
inquiry in 2005 found nine incidents in which Guantanamo civilian and
military personnel had mishandled the Quran. They also found 15 cases
of abuse of the book by detainees. Officials say guards are trained
not to show disrespect to the Quran and are careful not to do so.
"We respect and support the detainees' right to worship," a Guantanamo
spokesman, Navy Cmdr. Rick Haupt, said Friday, adding that the
military provides the men there with prayer rugs and prayer along with
Qurans in multiple languages.
"Allegations from detainees is common behavior and in keeping with
tactics taught to al-Qaida members through their training guide," he said.
In Mauritania, Mohamed said he did not know why he was arrested and
said he had never had any connection to al-Qaida. He was returned to
Mauritania on Sept. 26 after being cleared for release by a U.S.
military review panel.
Mohamed said earlier this week that he had been attending an Islamic
school in Pakistan when he was arrested by Pakistani police in 2002
and handed over to U.S. authorities.
"I spent five years in Guantanamo, but I don't know anyone in al-Qaida
and I have no relations with those people," Mohamed said.
Mohamed said he was not abused himself at Guantanamo, but he believed
others were. "Each time people were interrogated, we heard the screams
caused by torture," he said.
Mauritanian police spokesman Mohamed Abdallahi said earlier in the
week that police were questioning Mohamed about his life in Pakistan
and his activities in that country in order to determine whether to
Two other Mauritanians remain in custody in Guantanamo. They are
Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a technology engineer who was living in Germany
when he was taken into custody in November, 2001 and Ahmed Ould
Abdelaziz, who was arrested in Pakistan in 2002.