The Amnesty International human rights group alleged yesterday that a Chinese government delegation visited the Guantanamo Bay prison in 2002 and participated in interrogations in which Chinese detainees were subjected to sleep deprivation, forced sitting for many hours and intimidation.
Alistair Hodgett, a spokesman for the group, said Amnesty based the claim on multiple sources of information but declined to identify them. In a statement released yesterday, Amnesty said it deemed "credible" the sources' allegation that the Chinese delegation took part in the mistreatment of some of the 22 Chinese-origin ethnic Uighur detainees at the U.S. military prison in Cuba.
U.S. military officials have denied allegations of physical mistreatment leveled by some released detainees from Britain, but say some "credible" allegations "are being investigated." In the past, U.S. officials have confirmed that foreign intelligence officers visited the Guantanamo Bay jail to help question their countrymen, but few allegations have emerged that any helped direct abusive interrogations.
Navy Lt. Cmdr. Barbara Burfeind, a military spokeswoman, declined to comment yesterday on Amnesty's allegations.
U.S. officials have said some or all of the Chinese detainees likely will be released soon. But human rights groups have expressed concern that members of the mainly Muslim Uighur community could be harassed or tortured if returned to China from Guantanamo Bay.
-- John Mintz