Guant namo detainee accuses US guards of threatening to kill and maim him

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Washington, Sep 23 : Ahmed Zaid Zuhair, a detainee in Camp 6 of the US Naval Station at Guant namo Bay, has claimed that two guards had harassed him, with one threatening to kill him and quarter his body; and the other threatening to cut off his ears and nose.

One guard then read through his legal correspondence, confiscating several documents, the Christian Science Monitor quoted Zuhair, as saying.

On July 18, Zuhair, a detainee at Guant namo Bay, wrote to his legal team in the US, terminating all written communication.

"Right now, my state of mind is not normal because I have been threatened with death by a guard," Zuhair wrote. "Do not send any more papers after today."

The charges labeled by Zuhair cannot be verified as the US military has declined to make comments on specific allegations.

But Zuhair's decision to halt communication with his legal team highlights the ongoing challenge of defending inmates at Guant namo.

If detainees can't communicate with their lawyers without fear of retribution, defense lawyers say, then their rights to an attorney - or to challenge their detention under habeas corpus - don't amount to much.

"Without assurances that future contact with his lawyers will not occasion death threats, Zuhair's right to habeas corpus is meaningless," says Darryl Li, a member of Zuhair's legal team.

The judge has not yet ruled on the motion.

On September 12, the judge ordered that the accused guards, identified by their badge numbers in Zuhair's letter, file-sworn declarations within 10 days - a first, according to Li.

The military declined to comment directly about Zuhair's case.

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