Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


9/11 suspect cites Gitmo food 'torture'

21 August 2013, 09:52

Fort Meade - A Yemeni accused of the September 11 attacks walked out of a courtroom at Guantanamo Bay on Tuesday, claiming that the lack of food he received amounts to "psychological torture".

Ramzi Binalshibh, one of five men on trial over the hijacking and crashing of airliners that killed almost 3 000 people in the United States in 2001, said after lunch that he could not continue under the circumstances.

"I cannot remain here. There are big problems with the food provided. This is a daily practice... when I go to hearings and I go to meetings with my lawyer, they don't bring us food," he said in Arabic, which was translated.

"This is one type of psychological torture," added Binalshibh, the only suspect to appear on Tuesday, the second day of the latest preliminary hearing broadcast via a video link to a US military base at Fort Meade, in Maryland.

Self-declared 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed - wearing camouflage garb and his beard tinted with henna - appeared in the military court at the US prison in Cuba with his four co-defendants on Monday.


All face the death penalty if convicted of plotting the attacks on New York and Washington. Preliminary hearings in the case began in May 2012.

Binalshibh, wearing a white robe and a traditional Arab headdress, said that the problems over food applied not just to him but to "my brothers as well".

A military spokesperson, US Naval Captain Robert Durand, said Binalshibh had been provided with a freshly-prepared standard detainee halaal meal during the court hearing's lunch recess.

"The defendant complained that his lunch did not include condiments such as olives and honey," Durand added.

Binalshibh's lawyer, Jim Harrington, said his client felt that the conditions at the US Naval Base in Cuba "have been made intolerable for him".

"Sometimes little things - not so little - built up, built up, and built up, things become even bigger," Harrington said.

US military judge James Pohl had told Binalshibh that if he chose to leave the afternoon session the suspect must acknowledge he was making "a voluntary choice, a personal decision," and he received a "yes," in reply.

Kevin Bogucki, Binalshibh's other lawyer, said the case had no precedent in American history due to how the detainees are treated.

He noted the "frustration" of his client, whose cell he said was subjected to "noises and vibrations that interfere with his ability to concentrate, to sleep," he said.

Chief prosecutor General Mark Martins said there was nothing to back up those claims.

The five defendants were held incommunicado in secret CIA prisons from 2002 to 2006, before they were transferred to Guantanamo.

The detainees' treatment has come under close scrutiny. Mohammed is known to have been subjected to 183 sessions of water boarding, the technique of simulated drowning that has been decried as torture by rights groups.

"Torture is a mitigating factor in this case because it's a death penalty case," said David Nevin, Mohammed's lawyer.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...