The Telegraph is facing accusations today that, in releasing its Guantanamo Bay WikiLeaks files, it violated journalist ethics by publishing the name of a Pakistani teenager who was raped in Afghanistan before being shipped to Guantanamo. The ethics debate is important, but the story of the 15-year-old detainee is also worth highlighting given that it's one of the more horrific accounts we've come across so far.
According to his file, the Afghan detainee said he was running an errand for his father when he was kidnapped by 11 men who hailed from a group called "Samoud's people." The men, according to the detainee, "forcibly raped him at gunpoint" and brought him back to their village, where they made him do manual work. Three days later, the group's members, tipped off about an imminent U.S. raid of their camp, forced the detainee and some other people to stay behind and fight the Americans while the group members themselves fled. The file indicates that the detainee had an unfired weapon on him when U.S. forces stormed the camp. The detainee was shipped to Guantanamo in January 2003 for what seems like a rather vague and flimsy reason--"his possible knowledge of Taliban resistance efforts and local leaders."
After the detainee had spent seven months at the Cuban detention center, the task force assessing the 15-year-old's case concluded that the detainee was indeed a "kidnap victim and a forced conscript of a local warring tribe, affiliated with the Taliban." The detainee might still have "some remaining intelligence," the file explains, but "that information does not outweigh the necessity to remove this juvenile from his current environment and afford him an opportunity to 'grow out' of the radical extremism he has been subjected to." Despite that exposure, the file noted that the detainee hadn't expressed "thoughts of violence or made threats toward the U.S. or its allies during interrogations." The task force recommended releasing the "low threat" detainee or transferring him to an organization that could help him become a "productive member of his society."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.