Background Briefing

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I. Introduction

The following is a compilation by Human Rights Watch of accounts by thirty-three former detainees at Guantanamo of their experiences there.  Human Rights Watch interviewed sixteen of the detainees, reviewed press reports containing statements by former detainees interviewed by journalists, and used as well statements published by the detainees themselves. Where accounts provided us in interviews are consistent with published accounts, we have quoted from the published accounts, so that the reader of this compilation has access to the complete statements.  We include only what detainees said they had experienced personally or had witnessed. 

All of the detainees whose accounts are compiled below appear to have all been “low value” detainees.  We are not aware of any “high value” detainees who have been released.  Accounts by low value detainees may not shed much light on how high-value detainees are being treated.

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