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US Will Releasee POW Names
BBC
March 3, 2006

The US defence department has said it will release the names of inmates detained at its Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba later on Friday.

However, the names will not appear as a simple list - they will be buried within 6,000 pages of documents to be posted on the Pentagon website.

They are transcripts of tribunals in which the 500 detainees were screened and their combat status assessed.

The transcripts have been released before, but with the names blacked out.

The files are being released as a result of a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the Associated Press.

It will be the first time most of the names will have been made public.

'Ghost' detainees

Detainees were screened at the Combatant Status Review Tribunals with a view to categorising them as "enemy combatants".

The BBC's Pentagon correspondent, Adam Brookes, says it will take days, or even weeks, for the documents to be read and analysed, but once the names are public, much more will be learned about who they are and the circumstances of their capture and detention.

However, our correspondent says that only inmates who underwent Combatant Status Review Tribunals will be named.

It is quite possible that there are other prisoners, known as "ghost" detainees, in Guantanamo, he adds.

Force feeding

In a separate development, a Kuwaiti man being held at Guantanamo Bay has given a rare interview to the BBC in which he has described the force-feeding of hunger strikers at the camp, something which he says amounts to torture.

Answering the questions from the BBC's Today Programme through his lawyer, Fawzi al-Odah said hunger strikers were strapped to a chair and force-fed through a tube three times a day.

"First they took my comfort items away from me. You know, my blanket, my towel, my long pants, then my shoes. I was put in isolation for 10 days.

"They came in and read out an order. It said if you refuse to eat, we will put you on the chair [for force feeding]."

Mr Odah, who has been held at the base since 2002, was one of 84 inmates at Guantanamo who went on hunger strike in December. Just four are still refusing food.

He told how detainees were given "formulas" to force them to empty their bowels and were strapped to a metal chair three times a day, where a tube was inserted to administer food.

"One guy, a Saudi, told me that he had once been tortured in Saudi Arabia and that this metal chair treatment was worse than any torture he had ever endured or could imagine," Mr Odah said.

The UN Human Rights Commission said recently that it regarded force-feeding at Guantanamo as a form of torture, a charge the US firmly has repeatedly denied.

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