Hicks feared US interrogators would shoot him

Australian Guantanamo Bay detainee David Hicks feared he would be shot unless he cooperated with US interrogators in Afghanistan, according to a sworn statement presented to a British court.

Hicks feared US interrogators would shoot him

Australian Guantanamo Baydetainee David Hicks feared he would be shot unless he cooperated with USinterrogators in Afghanistan,according to a sworn statement presented to a British court.

In the affidavit, Hicks said he was slapped, kicked, punched and spat onafter being arrested by coalition forces in the Central Asian country in 2001.

Hicks also said that he had heard other detainees screaming in pain, hadseen evidence of beatings on fellow prisoners and had had a shotgun trained onhim during questioning.

"I realised that if I did not cooperate with US interrogators, I mightbe shot," he said in the document handed to British authorities andobtained by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).

The affidavit detailed the allegations of mistreatment as part of hisunsuccessful bid to obtain British citizenship last year.

Hicks said he was twice taken off a US warship, flown to an unknownlocation and physically abused by US personnel for a total of 16 hours. Two USinvestigations said that claim was unfounded.

The 31-year-old, who spent more than five years in Guantanamo Baywithout charge, last week pleaded guilty to providing material support forterrorism.

As part of the plea bargain which will see him serve another nine months inan Australian jail, Hicks has agreed to withdraw all claims of mistreatment duringhis time at Guantanamo Bay.

But in the affidavit he said he felt at risk of physical abuse and that hehad seen one prisoner set upon by dogs and another have his head slammed intoconcrete until he was unconscious.

In the document, Hicks said that by early 2003 he "felt that I had toensure that whatever I did pleased the interrogators to keep from beingphysically abused, placed in isolation and remaining at Guantanamo for the restof my life", ABC reported late Monday.

Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to former US Secretary ofState Colin Powell,said his claims were credible.

"I know this kind of abuse happened," he told ABC. "I'vetalked to people who participated in it -- CIA,military and contractor."

Wilkerson said military officers had told him the interrogations at Guantanamo Bay had revealed "virtuallynothing" of useful intelligence.

"And that is just damning," he said.

Under the plea deal negotiated with the US military commission, Hicksagreed not to speak to the media for a year.

His father, Terry Hicks, has claimed that the Australian government has alsoasked him not to talk about his son's experience at Guantanamo.

"This is Big Brother, and because the Americans and the Australiangovernment coalesce on David's charges, at this point in time we're ruled bythem," Hicks told the Australian newspaper.

"If David tells us something, we can't pass it on. But I could stilltalk about the signing of his charges."

Canberra hasvehemently denied placing a gag order on the Hicks family.

"It certainly wasn't asked for by us," Attorney General PhilipRuddock told ABC Radio.

 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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