Ex Gitmo detainees ask French judge to probe torture

Two former Guantanamo Bay detainees asked a French judge  to subpoena a former prison commander they accuse of overseeing their alleged torture.


Nizar Sassi and Mourad Benchellali, who were both held by American authorities first in Kandahar, Afghanistan, and then on the US naval base at Guantanamo in Cuba from late 2001 to 2004, are French citizens and now live in France.

French investigations into their case began after they filed a complaint in court, along with Khaled Ben Mustapha, another former Guantanamo inmate.

In an expert report submitted to the investigative judge of the high court of Paris, lawyers for Sassi and Benchellali accused retired major general Geoffrey Miller of “an authorised and systematic plan of torture and ill-treatment on persons deprived of their freedom without any charge and without the basic rights of any detainee.”

Miller, who was commander of the prison from 2002 to 2004, “bears individual criminal responsibility for the war crimes and acts of torture inflicted on detainees in US custody at Guantanamo and in Iraq” at the Abu Ghraib prison while it was run by the American military, according to the report.

Just before Miller became commander of Guantanamo in late 2002, president George W. Bush’s administration approved so-called enhanced interrogation techniques, including placing detainees in stress positions, stripping them, isolating them for extended periods of time and exposing them to extreme heat and cold.