Mon, Aug 08, 2005 - Page 7 News List

Guantanamo files show fights between detainees


Detainees at the US detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have clashed at least 16 times, including one man who claims he has been beaten by fellow prisoners because he practices a different form of Islam from the majority at the camp.

None of the incidents resulted in life-threatening injuries to the detainees at the center for US terror suspects, according to the documents, which were obtained by the Associated Press Freedom under a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.

In one incident, two detainees fought after one accused the other of lying to military interrogators about him.

In another, detainees threw water and feces at each other repeatedly in a dispute that began when one sang during the evening Muslim prayer call.

In a third, a fight broke out between two men after one accused the other of insulting his family.

The accounts come from 51 pages of documents that include reports by guards of incidents from November 2003 to this May in which detainees attacked other detainees at the high-security base in eastern Cuba. Military censors have blacked out names and other identifying details of detainees, US troops or other witnesses and some of the accounts are vague.

It is not clear from the documents whether the detainees were disciplined, but officials at Guantanamo have previously said that inmates who break rules can be segregated, placed in more restrictive settings or lose access to such comforts as chess boards provided by the military.

In a case that prompted an investigation, one detainee told military authorities that he was beaten by inmates and had urine thrown at him because he is a Shiite Muslim and most of the approximately 500 other prisoners are Sunni Muslims.

Authorities at Guantanamo found that he had been in a fight -- in which he had injuries to his lip, front teeth, cheek and ribs -- but they concluded there was no evidence to support his allegation that he has been repeatedly targeted because he is a Shiite, according to the documents.

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