Dutch terror suspect "tortured in American prison"
A Dutch-Iraqi terror suspect who was released from prison on Wednesday has said that he was tortured while in detention in the United States.
Wesam al Delaema told the ANP press agency that he confessed to planning attacks on US military personnel in Iraq after he had been held for half a year in an unheated, windowless underground cell in Washington's DC Jail.
Abu Ghraib Prison guards subjected the hairdresser from Holland to "horrible, humiliating treatment. It was torture. Nearly all guards had served in the US Army in Iraq. They made it clear that I had no rights at all and would not be granted any, either," Mr Al Delaema said. "It was Abu Ghraib in Washington, I could only get out by confessing something."
Describing the conditions under which he was held, the Iraqi-born Dutchman said, "The lights were on around the clock. The fire alarm was sounded every few hours, so we could not sleep. It was bitterly cold in winter and I frequently had to strip and sit naked in the cold. It was terrible. One day they took me to a cell where someone had hanged himself. The guards told me to go and hang myself, too. I'd never seen a thing like that. I was forced to witness rapes. They broke me."
Fallujah resistance Mr Al Delaema maintains that he was not involved in any attacks or in their preparation. Having settled in the Netherlands in 1991, he said he went back to his native city of Fallujah for a family visit, and was shocked by the war situation there. "I filmed resistance in Fallujah and recorded what they did. I may have acted like I was one of them, but I wasn't. Sure, I was angry with what the Americans have brought about in Iraq."
Even though friends of his were killed by US bombs and family homes were destroyed, Mr Al Delaema never resorted to violence, he said. "I don't want to kill people, nor am I able to. That's why I fled from Iraq in the first place. I didn't want to be in the army."
Released After being found guilty of plotting to kill US servicemen and being sentenced by a US court to 25 years in jail, Mr Al Delaema was extradited to the Netherlands. A Dutch court confirmed the US guilty verdict, but reduced his sentence to 8 years. Including his time in police custody, Mr Al Delaema had already served that number of years and was therefore released from prison.
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