The global anti-war movement will be marking the fifth anniversary of Guantanamo Bay with protests this week. Activists, including Cindy Sheehan and former prisoners, will lead a demonstration outside the detention facility in Cuba.
The protests come as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has made public a new batch of documents that reveal widespread abuses witnessed by FBI agents in the prison camp.
The 200 pages of testimonies detail savage beatings, religious abuse and sexual humiliation.
The documents include revelations that detainees were wrapped in Israeli flags, exposed to strobe lights, loud “satanic music”, held in freezing conditions or searing temperatures and repeatedly beaten.
Prisoners were often shackled and bound and would be found lying in the “foetal position”. One agent complained that “most times they had urinated or defecated on themselves, and had been left there for 24 hours or more”.
Another agent describes seeing an army captain “squat over a copy of the Koran” and pretend to shit, while another describes how a prisoner was gagged with duct-tape for reciting verses from the Koran.
Female guards would regularly harass prisoners as they tried to pray. They would “wet their hands then touch the detainee’s face, causing the detainee to stop praying because he considered himself unclean”.
The ACLU notes that while few of the complaints were acted on, many FBI agents refused to participate in interrogations – carried out mainly by US department of defence contractors.
In documents released last year FBI agents catalogued intimidation and threats after they complained about the torture they witnessed.