Former Guantanamo detainees tortured in Russia: HRW

[JURIST] Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] issued a report [text; press release] Thursday detailing abuse and torture suffered by seven former Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees at the hands of Russian law enforcement agencies since their release from US custody in 2004. The seven men were released from Guantanamo Bay after it was determined they had no ties to the Taliban and were extradited to their home country of Russia. Three of the men claim they were tortured and beaten, and all seven say they were detained and harassed. Four have since gone into hiding to avoid further abuse.

A lawyer for former detainee Rasul Kudayev [Wikipedia profile] said his client was beaten to extract a confession. The report claims that two others, Ravil Gumarov and Timur Ishmuratov [Wikipedia profiles], who were sentenced last year to 13 and 11 years in prison after confessing to blowing up a natural gas pipeline, were also beaten until they confessed. The men had been acquitted in an earlier trial. HRW notes that the Convention against Torture [text] prohibits a nation from sending a detainee back to a country where he is at risk of torture and called on the US to abide by the treaty. Some 360 former detainees have been released from Guantanamo Bay since the facility opened in 2002. The United States maintains that it does not track detainees once they are released, but obtains assurances that they will be treated humanely once extradited. AP has more.

 

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