A detainee held in the US prison camp at Guantánamo Bay who was used as a human guinea pig in the CIA’s post-9/11 torture program has produced the most comprehensive and detailed account yet seen of the brutal techniques to which he was subjected.
Abu Zubaydah has created a series of 40 drawings that chronicle the torture he endured in a number of CIA dark sites between 2002 and 2006 and at Guantánamo Bay. In the absence of a full official accounting of the torture program, which the CIA and the FBI have labored for years to keep secret, the images give a unique and searing insight into a grisly period in US history.
The drawings, which Zubaydah has annotated with his own words, depict gruesome acts of violence, sexual and religious humiliation, and prolonged psychological terror committed against him and other detainees. They were sketched from memory in his Guantánamo cell and sent to one of his lawyers, Prof Mark Denbeaux.
Together with his students at the Center for Policy and Research at Seton Hall University law school, Denbeaux compiled Zubaydah’s images and words into a new report. The Guardian is posting the report, American Torturers: FBI and CIA Abuses at Dark Sites and Guantánamo, for the first time along with a set of never-before-seen sketches.
“Abu Zubaydah is the poster child for America’s torture program,” Denbeaux said. “He was the first person to be tortured, having been approved by the Department of Justice based on facts that the CIA knew to be false. His drawings are the ultimate repudiation of the failure and abuses of torture.” [Continue reading…]