Comfort items

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Comfort items issued to detainees at Camp Delta, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, include: a copy of the Koran, a mattress, sheet, blanket, prayer mat, two-piece suit, flip-flop shoes, prayer cap, wash cloth and towel, and a salt packet for seasoning food. Note the arrow pointing to Mecca.

"Comfort items" is the term used at the American prison for secret detainees in the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Psychological experts suggested that the withdrawal of toiletries and other basic items of personal hygiene could be used to discipline the detainees without being blamed for overt cruelty.

Muslims are obliged to pray five times a day. But they must bathe, so they are ritually clean, first. The withdrawal of toiletries interferes with their prayers.

Good behavior is rewarded with an increase in comfort items such as fast food or additional reading material. Detainees can also receive a white two-piece outfit that is closer to traditional wear for men in most Islamic countries.

toilet paper

Bisher al Rawi's lawyer Brent Mickum reported that his client was rationed to fifteen sheets of toilet paper per day.[1] But his toilet paper ration was withheld for "misuse" when he tried to use sheets of toilet paper to block out the light in his cell which is lit 24 hours a day.

prayer rug

Bisher al Rawi's lawyer Brent Mickum reported that his client was confined to a very cold cell without any clothes, bedding, or towels.[1] But he had been left a prayer rug. However, it was removed because he misused the prayer rug to try to keep himself warm.


  1. ^ a b Brent Mickum (January 8, 2007). "Guantánamo's lost souls". The Guardian. Retrieved 2007-08-11.