Frequent flyer program (Guantanamo)

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The frequent flyer program is a controversial technique used by the USA in the Guantanamo Bay detainment camps, in Cuba.[1] Guards deprived detainees of sleep by moving them from one cell to another, multiple times a day, for days or weeks on end.[1]

The technique was used to "soften up" detainees prior to interrogation. Guantanamo guards were ordered to discontinue the use of the technique in March 2004, although the practice persisted until at least later that year.[1]

Major David Frakt, USAF, defense counsel to a recipient of the program, Mohamed Jawad, said:

No one actually knows the full scope of the abuses at Guantanamo [and that] all of these allegedly comprehensive investigations were whitewashed. This is only the tip of the iceberg. This program was approved at the highest levels.... It suggests that people had simply lost their ability to distinguish right from wrong.[1]

In August 2008, in testimony at Jawad's Guantanamo military commission trial, Army officers confirmed the existence of the frequent flyer program.[2] At least 17 detainees were subjected to the program.[1]

In May 2012 Ramzi Kassem, a lawyer for detainee Shaker Aamer, said his client alleges the frequent flyer program was still being used as a punishment technique in the isolation block known as Camp Five Echo.[3]

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  1. ^ a b c d e White, Josh (August 8, 2008). "Tactic Used After It Was Banned: Detainees at Guantanamo Were Moved Often, Documents Say". Washington Post. Archived from the original on August 8, 2008. Retrieved November 16, 2011.
  2. ^ "Young detainees appear at Guantanamo hearings". Agence France Press. August 13, 2008. Archived from the original on August 17, 2008. Retrieved December 16, 2011.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  3. ^ Paddy McGuffin (2012-05-21). "Aamer's torment in the spotlight". Morning Star. Archived from the original on 2012-08-31. In the lawyer's notes Mr Aamer states that he was held in solitary confinement from July to December 2011 in Camp 5 Echo block, a punishment block for "non-compliant" detainees. He was confined to his cell for 24 hours a day and subjected to sleep deprivation methods by guards.