WikiLeaks slams paper after Gitmo Swede leak

Whistleblower website WikiLeaks has slammed a Swedish tabloid as 'corrupt and politicized' the day after it published a scoop on Swedish Guantanamo detainee Mehdi Ghezali.

WikiLeaks slams paper after Gitmo Swede leak

31-year-old Ghezali has meanwhile spoken of his wish to put his experiences in the Cuba-based prison behind him and ‘move on with his life’.

On Tuesday Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet announced that they would publish details regarding the Swedish Guantanamo detainee Mehdi Ghezali in cooperation with WikiLeaks on Wednesday.

But rivals Expressen beat them to it and published the documents on Tuesday afternoon, something which drew comment from WikiLeaks Swedish agent Johannes Wahlström on Wednesday.

“I can only congratulate the journalists that got the scoop, it is just a pity that they are wasting their talents on a corrupt and politicized paper like Expressen,” he told Swedish trade paper Resumé.

According to Resumé, WikiLeaks have taken a hostile stance to Epressen since they revealed that the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was suspected of rape in Sweden.

WikiLeaks believe that enemies of the organisation ‘leaked’ the Ghezali information to their rivals in order to sabotage Aftonbladet’s scoop.

”Nasty business: WikiLeaks enemies give Gitmo files to right wing Swedish tabloid Expression (sic) to scupper Aftonbladet’s investigation”, Wikileaks tweeted shortly after.

Expressen’s editor in chief Thomas Mattson doesn’t want to reveal how he came over the documents.

“But it is interesting and perhaps even a little entertaining to see that WikiLeaks once again via Twitter is trying to describe Expressen as a ‘right wing tabloid’” he told Resumé.

Meanwhile, Mehdi Ghezali just wants to get on with his life.

“I just want to be able to move on,“ he said.

He doesn’t know what to think about the American papers being made public.

“Maybe it is a good thing that the truth finally is revealed but I don’t know. I really just want to get on with it,” he said.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Guantanamo: Paris judge asked to probe ‘torture’

Two French citizens, who are former inmates at the notorious Guantanamo Bay prison camp have asked a French judge to subpoena a former prison commander thay accuse of overseeing an alleged "systematic plan of torture and ill-treatment".

Guantanamo: Paris judge asked to probe 'torture'
Amnesty International protest in Paris calling for the closure of Guantanamo prison camp in 2012. Photo: Joel Saget/AFP

Two former Guantanamo Bay detainees asked a French judge on Wednesday 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 authorized 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.

Miller then implemented these methods.

And even though then-secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld withdrew permission for the most controversial of these interrogation techniques shortly thereafter in January 2003, "under MG Miller's command at Guantanamo, these techniques continued to be used in certain cases," the detainees' lawyers said

"These acts constitute torture and violate, at a minimum, the Geneva Conventions prohibition on coercive interrogations."

No response from US

Investigating magistrate Sophie Clement issued a formal request known as a letter rogatory to the US government in January 2012 for access to Guantanamo, relevant documents in the case and all persons who had contact with Sassi, Benchellali and ben Mustapha during their detention

But the men's lawyers said the United States had yet to reply.

"That high-level US officials alleged to bear responsible for torture continue to enjoy impunity domestically is a stain on the US system of justice," said Katherine Gallagher, senior staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights and vice president at the International Federation for Human Rights.

"We hope that this report will be of use in holding officials such as Miller accountable in France, a venue that is willing to investigate torture, and assist in providing some measure of justice to the torture survivors," she added in a statement after submitting the report to Clement.

William Bourdon, who represents the former detainees, stressed that Guantanamo remains open more than 12 years after it began receiving terror suspects, despite President Barack Obama's efforts to close it.

"Considering the close relationship that exists between France and the United States, the US should not block Geoffrey Miller's testimony; he has a lot to say," Bourdon added.