Guantanamo captive Mohammad al-Qaraani, a 21 year old citizen of Chad who has been held at the US detention center since he was 14 , was allowed the rare priviledge today of making a phone call to a relative, but decided to call the Qatari-based al-Jazeera television station instead. What resulted was the first known interview with a Guantanamo captive by a major media outlet.
In the interview, Qaraani described being beaten by a group of US troops, and tear gassed repeatedly. “This treatment started about 20 days before Obama came into power, and since then I’ve been subjected to it almost every day,” he said.
Though President Obama has banned harsh interrogations and is planning to close the facility, one lawyer for a human rights group representing some of the detainees reports that conditions in the facility are deteriorating.
Guantanamo spokesman Lieutenant Commander Brook DeWalt said Qaraani was supposed to call his uncle, but was not sure if he was allowed to dial the phone himself, nor was it clear how the detainee had gotten the phone number of the popular television station.