Bowe Bergdahl, the Army sergeant now facing charges of desertion and misbehaving before the enemy, has remained outside the public spotlight since he was recovered in a prisoner swap and returned to U.S. custody last spring. He has not spoken to reporters and has never detailed the conditions of his five-year captivity.
On Wednesday, shortly after the Army announced its decision in the 28-year-old soldier’s case, Bergdahl’s lawyer released a statement that his client sent the commanding general overseeing the investigation into his disappearance. In it, the soldier describes the conditions of his captivity as brutal, saying he endured beatings, severe hunger and threats of execution. He also describes his failed attempts to escape.
“I was kept in constant isolation during the entire 5 years, with little to no understanding of time, through constant periods of constant darkness, periods of constant light, and periods of completely random flickering of light,” he wrote at one point. He added that he had “absolutely no understanding of anything that was happening beyond the door I was held behind.”
Here is the full statement provided by Bergdahl’s lawyer, Eugene Fidell.