The statements made by those released from Guantanamo are not uniform in their description of the frequency or method of interrogation. For all, interrogation was a stressful experience. Some detainees described physical mistreatment. Some commented on the endless repetition of questions, and the low quality of the questioning.33
For Afghan detainee Shah Mohammed Alikhil, who does not allege actual or threatened ill-treatment during interrogation, it was the repetition of the interrogations, and the absence of any prospect of resolution thereby, that was stressful:
My first interrogation started at the end of my first month of imprisonment in Cuba. Three Americans with a translator interrogated me. They asked me the same thing [as before, during incarceration in Mazar-i-Sharif and Kandahar prior to transfer to Guantanamo] and did not tell me anything else. There was no torture or mistreatment. The second interrogation started a month after the first interrogation. No new questions were asked this time again. And some months later I was interrogated again, without any sign of progress in my case, and again no new questions were asked. I was exhausted and tired of living like that. I was hearing noises and seeing ghosts [hallucinating].34
Afghan detainee Muhammad Naim Farooq described his experiences of interrogation in an interview with Amnesty International. He said that he was interrogated immediately after his arrival at Guantanamo but not again for another three months. He was then interrogated monthly, for between thirty minutes and three hours. After several months he was told that his interrogations were over, but he was not released for a further three months.35 Sayed Abassin, another Afghan interviewed by Amnesty International, said that he was interrogated at least ten times in the first few weeks after his transfer to Guantanamo and then not at all for the further ten months that he was at Camp Delta before being released in April 2003.36
Tarek Dergoul, from the UK, described a range of experiences under interrogation, including insulting and offensive behavior from the interrogators:
They brought pictures of naked women and dirty magazines and put them on the floor. One of the interrogators brought a cup holder for four cups with two coffees in the cup holder. He then deliberately placed the Quran on top of the coffee. He put his folder on the desk and then grabbed the Quran with his feet up on the table and read it like he was reading a magazine. He made jokes about the Quran 37
Dergoul also said he would be chained in the interrogation room for long periods of time: Eventually Id need to urinate and in the end I would try to tilt my chair and go on the floor. They were watching through a one-way mirror. As soon as I wet myself, a woman MP would come in yelling, Look what youve done! Youre disgusting. 38
Tarek Dergoul also said that during interrogation he was threatened with being sent to Morocco or Egypt, where I would be tortured.
Detainee A, an Afghan, alleged that he was threatened with torture:
I was there for eighteen months and was taken for interrogation plenty of times. Questions were the same and there was offering and intimidation during the interrogations. For instance, I was promised I would be released if I told all the truth and shared all my information. Or I was threatened to be given electricity shock if I did not tell the truth. The threats were verbal.39
Pakistani former detainee Muhammad Ansar alleged that during interrogation he was threatened that I would be kept there forever or that I would be hanged.40
Jamal al-Harith, from the UK, alleged that he was warned by interrogators that they would inject him with drugs if he did not answer their questions. He also claimed that interrogators made death threats against him and his family and staged a mock beating in the room next to where he was being questioned: They started shouting and pulling a chair around, but I knew there wasnt anyone there because I couldnt hear any chains clanking on the floor.41
Some of the detainees also described the deliberate infliction of pain and discomfort in the interrogation context. Tarek Dergoul described a period of about one month during 2003 when guards would take him every day to an interrogation room, seat him, chain him to a ring in the floor and leave him alone for up to eight hours. He stated: The air conditioning would really be blowingit was freezing, which was incredibly painful on my amputation stumps [Dergouls left arm and a big toe are amputated].42 He also described a method of restraint during interrogation referred to as the short shacklesteel bonds pulled tight to keep the subject bunched up, then chained to the floor: After a while, it was agony. You could hear the guards behind the mirror, making jokes, eating and drinking, knocking on the walls.43
In a joint statement issued on May 13, 2004, Britons Shafiq Rasul and Asif Iqbal described interrogation practices, including short shackling:
Our interrogations in Guantanamo were conducted with us chained to the floor for hours on end in circumstances so prolonged that it was practice to have plastic chairs that could be easily hosed off because prisoners would be forced to urinate during the course of them and were not allowed to go to the toilet. One practice was short shackling where we were forced to squat without a chair with our hands chained between our legs and chained to the floor. If we fell over, the chains would cut into our hands. We would be left in this position for hours before an interrogation, during the interrogations (which could last as long as twelve hours), and sometimes for hours while the interrogators left the room. The air conditioning was turned up so high that within minutes we would be freezing. There was strobe lighting and loud music played that was itself a form of torture. Sometimes dogs were brought in to frighten us Sometimes detainees would be taken to the interrogation room day after day and kept short-shackled without interrogation ever happening, sometimes for weeks on end.44
In a document released to the public, Shafiq Rault, Asif Iqbal and Rhuhel Ahmed describe the combination of months of isolation, coercive interrogation techniques, and endless interrogations in which their stories were not believed that ultimately led each of them to confess to having been with Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan at the time a video was taken. The three confessions were false, as British intelligence subsequently established the veracity of their alibis.45
Short-shackling has also been described in detail by another of the British former detainees, Jamal al-Harith: Sometimes you would be chained up on the floor with your hands and feet actually bound together. One of my friends told me he was kept like that for fifteen hours once.46
Other detainees interviewed by Human Rights Watch did not describe any abuse during interrogations. For example, Abdul Razak told Human Rights Watch that:
In the thirteen months I was in Cuba, I was interrogated ten to twelve times. I was interrogated in a separate room and always alone. I would be brought there, and my legs would be shackled to a chair. One or two Americans in plain clothes interviewed me. A typical interrogation consisted of questions about my family, education record, language skills, background what I intended to do in the future purpose of my missionary activity who funded it what I was doing in Afghanistan The sessions lasted between one and two hours each and I was asked questions the whole time.47
During 2003, an institutionalized rewards and penalties system was introduced, whereby, in exchange for testimony, detainees could improve their conditions, receive comfort items including books or board games, and ultimately secure transfer to Camp Four. Failure to cooperate with interrogation could lead to the removal of comfort items (e.g. blankets, towels, toothbrushes, toothpaste Styrofoam cups), loss of out of cell recreation time, or placement in solitary confinement.48
 e.g. Statement of Shafiq Rasul, Asif Iqbal and Rhuhel Ahmed, Detention in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, released publicly on August 4, 2004, para. 144, available online at: http://www.ccr-ny.org/v2/reports/docs/Gitmo-compositestatementFINAL23july04.pdf, accessed on August 19, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview with Shah Mohammed Alikhil, January 3, 2004.
 Quoted in Amnesty International, United States of America: The threat of a bad example, AI Index: AMR 51/114/2003, August 19, 2003.
 See Amnesty International United States of America: The threat of a bad example, AI Index: AMR 51/114/2003, August 19, 2003.
 David Rose, They tied me up like a beast and began kicking me, The Observer, London, May 16, 2004, available online at: http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,1217969,00.html, accessed on May 18, 2004.
 Statement by Tarek Dergoul made available to Human Rights Watch, May 24, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview with A. (name withheld), February 6, 2004.
 Guantanamo Memories, From Outside the Wire, www.cageprisoners.com, available online at: http://www.cageprisoners.com/articles.php?aid=2105, accessed on July 1, 2004.
 David Rose, They tied me up like a beast and began kicking me, The Observer, London, 16 May 2004, available online at: http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,1217969,00.html, accessed on May 18, 2004.
 Shafiq Rasul and Asif Iqbal, Open letter to the US Senate Armed Services Committee, May 13, 2004. See also Statement of Shafiq Rasul, Asif Iqbal and Rhuhel Ahmed, Detention in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, released publicly on August 4, 2004, available online at: http://www.ccr-ny.org/v2/reports/docs/Gitmo-compositestatementFINAL23july04.pdf, accessed on August 19, 2004. For example, para. 183-190 contain more descriptions of interrogation, which include extensive descriptions of the interrogation process.
 Shafiq Rasul and Asif Iqbal, Open letter to the US Senate Armed Services Committee, May 13, 2004. See also Statement of Shafiq Rasul, Asif Iqbal and Rhuhel Ahmed, Detention in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, released publicly on August 4, 2004, available online at: http://www.ccr-ny.org/v2/reports/docs/Gitmo-compositestatementFINAL23july04.pdf, accessed on August 19, 2004.
 Human Rights Watch interview with Abdul Razak, June 3, 2004.
 David Rose, Operation Take Away My Freedom: Inside Guantanamo Bay On Trial, Vanity Fair, January 2004. See also, Statement of Shafiq Rasul, Asif Iqbal and Rhuhel Ahmed, Detention in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, released publicly on August 4, 2004, para. 128-132, available online at: http://www.ccr-ny.org/v2/reports/docs/Gitmo-compositestatementFINAL23july04.pdf, accessed on August 19, 2004.