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HRW: Locked Up Alone

June 2008



This report provides a physical description of the numbered "camps" in which Guantanamo detainees are being held, documents the inhumane conditions that prevail in many of the camps, and describes what appear to be increasingly frequent complaints of mental health deterioration voiced by detainees and their attorneys. The report is based on interviews with government officials and attorneys, and the cleared notes of meetings with detainees that attorneys were able to share with Human Rights Watch. (The Department of Defense does not allow any outsiders -- including journalists and representatives of nongovernmental organizations, with the exception of the International Committee of the Red Cross, whose interviews are strictly confidential -- to speak directly or by phone or email with any of the detainees still held at Guantanamo. In most cases, it has also prohibited attorneys from bringing in outside psychiatrists to evaluate the mental health of their clients, forcing attorneys to rely on "proxy" evaluations using a psychiatrist-developed and attorneyadministered questionnaire. Given the lack of access, attorney reports of client conversations and proxy psychiatric exams provide the only available information about particular detainees' experiences and states of mind.)

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