Freed Afgan Prisoners Claim Torture By U.S.

Two freed Afgan prisoners are claiming torture by U.S. interrogators at Bagram Air Base in Afganistan. This is the same base where two prisoners whose deaths were labeled homicides, were found to have been beaten before dying.

As he shivered, naked in his cell, two men threw a bucket of ice cold water on him. "I couldn't say anything," Saif-ur Rahman said two weeks after his release from U.S. detention in Afghanistan. "I was so frightened. I didn't know what they would do next."

Rahman's account and that of another recently freed Afghan gave a rare first-hand look into interrogation of prisoners held by the United States in the war against terrorism. Human rights groups have criticized U.S. interrogation methods as abusive. ...

In separate interviews, two prisoners, Rahman and Qayyum, offered similar accounts of their time at Bagram's detention centre. They complained of sleep-deprivation, of being forced to stand for long periods of time, of humiliating taunts from women soldiers, screaming abuses at them through closed doors.

Rahman spoke slowly, explaining with gestures. Sometimes he would stop, look away seemingly embarrassed to talk about his nakedness, about how he was forced to lie spread eagle on the dirt floor while his interrogators placed a chair on either hand and on his feet.

For 20 straight days Rahman was handcuffed. At meal time his hands were tied but the constraints more relaxed. Qayyum said he was held in a large hall with about 100 prisoners, 10 people to a cubicle cordoned off from other similar cubicles by sheets of mesh. He was held for two months and five days and throughout that time was forbidden to talk to his cellmates.

U.S. Military Spokesman Roger King acknowledged some and disputed other allegations by the two men.

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