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Bay prisoner 'is no threat'

A BAHRAINI detainee at Guantanamo Bay has only been questioned once in the last year, his lawyers said yesterday.

Representatives of Salah Abdul Rasool Al Blooshi told the GDN the prisoner has not been interrogated in 2006, which they say proves there is little justification for keeping him captive.

The 24-year-old, who is one of three Bahrainis still being held at the detention facility, is approaching his fifth year without charge or trial.

Mr Al Blooshi is being held in Guantanamo Bay Camp 4, which is reportedly for prisoners who are "not considered a threat".

The student was captured as a suspected enemy combatant by the Pakistani authorities while fleeing Afghanistan and handed to US forces in December 2001.

"During our last visit with Salah Al Blooshi we discussed the subject of interrogations," said legal team head Joshua Colangelo-Bryan.

"Military officials have said that approximately 75 per cent of all detainees are not interrogated and we suspect that the percentage of detainees not interrogated may be even higher.

"Salah told us that he has not been interrogated at all in 2006. In fact, in the past year he has been interrogated only once. "During that interrogation, he was asked about going to Bosnia in 1995.

"Salah responded that he had been aged 14 in 1995 and wasn't anywhere near Bosnia.

"When Salah refused to get into a long discussion in response to such a silly question, his interrogator said that he didn't want Salah to stay at Guantanamo until his hair turned white.

"Salah understood this statement as a threat."

Mr Colangelo-Bryan said after his last interrogation, Mr Al Blooshi was introduced to a man and woman who said they were responsible for his file, but they did not ask any him questions and he has not seen them again.

The lawyer added during one of his interrogations, shortly after he arrived in Guantanamo, Mr Al Blooshi told military officials he had gone to Afghanistan well before September 11, 2001, in part, to observe the way Sharia law was being applied there.

He mentioned that the destruction of the statues at Banyam had indicated to him that Sharia law was being applied very strictly.

Mr Al Blooshi also told interrogators that he stayed with someone in Kandahar who he had met there and that this person suggested he turn over his passport for safekeeping.

"Most of the accusations against Salah by the military are based on these statements," said Mr Colangelo-Bryan.

"This shows how patently weak the accusations against Salah are.

The two other Bahrainis still being held at Guantanamo Bay are Isa Al Murbati and Juma Al Dossary.



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