MEPs to hear from Kurnaz about torture claims

21st November 2006, Comments 0 comments

21 November 2006, Brussels (dpa) - European Union lawmakers on Wednesday are expected to hear from a German-born Turkish citizen who claims that German soldiers in Afghanistan mistreated him before he was transferred to the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Murat Kurnaz was held for more than four years at Guantanamo Bay, classified by Washington as an "enemy combatant". He was released last August. Kurnaz was arrested in Pakistan two months after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the U

21 November 2006

Brussels (dpa) - European Union lawmakers on Wednesday are expected to hear from a German-born Turkish citizen who claims that German soldiers in Afghanistan mistreated him before he was transferred to the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Murat Kurnaz was held for more than four years at Guantanamo Bay, classified by Washington as an "enemy combatant". He was released last August.

Kurnaz was arrested in Pakistan two months after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States and handed over to US authorities who took him to Guantanamo Bay in January 2002.

The US suspected him of supporting Afghanistan's former Taliban rulers.

Kurnaz, 24, has claimed that after his arrest he was initially taken to a US military prison in Afghanistan, where two German soldiers mistreated him while he was interrogated.

The German Defence Ministry is investigating the claims, but has said it had no evidence that German soldiers had interrogated Kurnaz.

A German parliamentary committee is currently studying whether German security agencies breached any German rules while assisting post-2001 US anti-terrorism operations.

Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) earlier this year slammed the former German government for failing to "come clean" over its involvement in the Kurnaz case.

His lawyer claims that Germany refused an US offer to release Kurnaz in October 2002, saying that there was no case against him.

US authorities never issued an arrest warrant and there was no legal procedure against Kurnaz, the lawyer has said.

During his term in Guantanamo, Kurnaz claims he was repeatedly mistreated, psychologically tortured and kept undernourished.

A special European Parliament committee is investigating charges that the CIA ran secret camps on European territory and whether national governments were complicit. The probe started in January.

DPA

Subject: German news

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