Transcript of Muazzam Begg’s letter

Begg’s is the first uncensored documentation to come out of Guantanamo Bay:

Begg has been incarcerated for more than two years
Begg has been incarcerated for more than two years

12 July 2004

US Forces Administration
JTF/JDCG, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

To Whom It May Concern

Re: Supplementary Exposition (of statement elected 5 July 2004)

I, Moazzam Begg, citizen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, attributed the number 00558 (Camp Echo), have felt it necessary to augment and further clarify the above noted statement and to accentuate my grievances and intentions.

After over two and a half years in the custody of the US military without charge, and by extension, without jurisdiction, I have yet to be afforded basic rights normally granted under the constitution of the USA and international law.

I therefore demand, unconditionally and irrevocably, that I be released immediately and returned to my family and domicile in the UK, together with all possessions, including all items and monies confiscated by US/Pakistani “agents” from my residence in Pakistan on 31 January 2002.

In the likely event that these demands are outrightly rejected, or unnecessarily procrastinated, I demand the following rights under US law:

1. A thorough and peremptory explanation of all statutory rights available within US legislature, particularly with respect to foreign nationals.

2. Any and all charges/allegations be presented unambiguously and written.

3. Full access to international phone calls in order to communicate with family and lawyers.

4. Full access to legal representatives of my own choice and appointment.

5. A fully inventoried list detailing all property seized (as mentioned above).

6. Regular and timely access to postal communication with family and a halt to the obscuring and withholding of mail from home.

In addition to the aforementioned rights, I make it known that I expect logical and reasonable answers for the following violations and abuses, and intend to seek justice and accountability:

(i) The exact purpose for my abduction, kidnapping and false imprisonment on 31 January 2002, under the auspices of US intelligence and law enforcement.

(ii) Subsequently, what legal jurisdiction they had for taking me forcibly to Afghanistan.

(iii) By what legal authority was property and money confiscated, leaving my wife and young children destitute and penniless in their wake.

(iv) Why I was brought into a designated war zone and my life put at risk.

(v) Why I was physically abused and degradingly stripped by force, then paraded in front of several cameras toted by US personnel.

(vi) The reason for being held in Bagram detention facility for over a year and consequently being denied natural light and fresh food for the duration.

(vii) The exact purpose for my incarceration in solitary confinement since 8 February 2003.

(viii) Why all news pertaining to my situation has been barred from me.

(ix) The justification for withholding most of my family mail, and incongruent obscurance of what little amounts have trickled through – even from eight year olds.

(x) Why phone calls and legal representation have been continually denied, despite several reassurances to the contrary.

(xi) Why, despite copious requests, I have yet to meet with a chaplain during all this time.

(xii) What was the legality and purpose of extracting my signature on a statement, in early February 2003, by FBI and CITF agents, under threats of long term imprisonment, summary trials and execution – all without legal representation.

I state here, unequivocally and for the record, that any documents presented to me by US law enforcement agents were signed and initialled under duress, thus rendered legally contested in validity. During several interviews, particularly – though unexclusively – in Afghanistan, I was subjected to pernicious threats of torture, actual vindictive torture and death threats – amongst other coercively employed interrogation techniques. Neither was the presence of legal counsel ever produced or made available.

The said interviews were conducted in an environment of generated fear, resonant with terrifying screams of fellow detainees facing similar methods. In this atmosphere of severe antipathy towards detainees was the compounded use of racially and religiously prejudiced taunts. This culminated, in my opinion, with the deaths of two fellow detainees, at the hands of US military personnel, to which I myself was partially witness.

In spite of all the aforementioned cruel and unusual treatment meted out, I have maintained a compliant and amicable manner with my captors and a cooperative attitude. My behavioural record is impeccable, yet contrasts immensely to what I have experienced, as stated.

I am a law-abiding citizen of the UK and attest vehemently to my innocence, before God and the law, of any crime – though none has ever been alleged. I have neither ever met Usama bin Ladin, nor been a member of al-Qaida – or any synonymous paramilitary organisation. Neither have I engaged in hostile acts against the USA nor assisted such groups in the same – though the opportunity has availed itself many a time, and motive.

Regardless of the outcome of all my appeals to sanity and protestations over the years, I reiterate my intention to seek justice at every possible level available to me. It is with that intent that I have prepared duplicates of this statement, for the information and use of the authorities and courts of justice.

I have requested this document to be perused by the camp NCO, the generality of its contents be recorded in the camp log and forwarded to the appropriate intended recipient.

Moazzam Begg (00558)

Dated this twelfth day of July, 2004

Source : Al Jazeera

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