Following are excerpts from an interview with Walid Muhammad Hajj a Sudanese national released from the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, which aired on Al-Jazeera TV on December 12, 2010.
To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit http://www.memri.org/legacy/clip/0/0/0/0/0/0/2730.
"The Most Common Method to Wear Down the Brothers was Witchcraft"
Walid Muhammad Hajj: "The psychologist would come and say: 'You want to kill yourself.' I never said that I wanted to kill myself. The psychologist would say: 'You want to kill yourself, so you must undergo psychiatric treatment.' I didn't do anything. I don't want to kill myself. He'd say: 'You want to kill yourself, and that's why we have taken your clothes, and we will give you pills.'"
Interviewer: "They are the ones who started spreading rumors about mental illnesses when they found that the detainees were not suffering from mental illnesses."
Walid Muhammad Hajj: "That's right. They would give you the pills, and if you refused to take them, you would be in a very difficult situation. They would immediately open your personal file, write down the type of pills they prescribed for you, and they would force you to take them. That's it. From now on, you are officially crazy in their view."
Interviewer: "How many prisoners were treated this way?"
Walid Muhammad Hajj: "Most of the brothers. This method was used by the people at the mental clinic, which was controlled by the interrogators. If an interrogator wanted to wear down someone who was not talking, he would send him to the psychiatrist, who would use these methods."
Interviewer: "He would use means that would drive him insane."
Walid Muhammad Hajj: "Yes. The most common method to wear down the brothers was witchcraft."
Jews on the Guantanamo Staff Engaged in Witchcraft
Interviewer: "How did they do this?"
Walid Muhammad Hajj: "There were, of course, Jews among the [staff of] the Guantanamo base, and they would set traps for the guys."
Interviewer: "Give me an example of witchcraft."
Walid Muhammad Hajj: "Witchcraft was used on most of the guys."
Interviewer: "They would cast a spell on them?"
Walid Muhammad Hajj: "Yes, but by the grace of Allah, through frequent reading of the Koran and invocation of the names of Allah, they managed to withstand this."
Interviewer: "How did you know that somebody was under a spell?"
Walid Muhammad Hajj: "Someone like that would change."
Interviewer: "In what way?"
Walid Muhammad Hajj: "For example, somebody would take his clothes off, all of a sudden, or would sit on his bed for three days straight without sleeping. [...]
"They would use all kinds of witchcraft against the guys."
Interviewer: "Tell me more."
Walid Muhammad Hajj: "I will tell you how the witchcraft affected the guys. A person would suddenly see his brothers and sisters naked before him."
Interviewer: "And they weren't really there?"
Walid Muhammad Hajj: "Absolutely not. It was as if he was in a different world."
Interviewer: "You mean, his brothers and sisters from back home."
Walid Muhammad Hajj: "That's right. I remembered an incident with a guy who sat next to me in the morning. When they brought the milk, he began to urinate into the milk."
Interviewer: "In front of you?"
Walid Muhammad Hajj: "Yes. I said to him: 'Why are you urinating in the milk?' That's when we knew that he was under a spell. After he had recovered a little, after we read Koranic verses to him, he said to me: 'The birds on the barbed wire would talk to me, and tell me to urinate in the milk. When the guards pass by my cell, the sound made by their pants talks to me.'"
Interviewer: "They tell him to urinate in the milk?"
Walid Muhammad Hajj: "Yes." [...]
Interviewer: "Did they ever use witchcraft on you?"
Walid Muhammad Hajj: "There was one attempt."
Interviewer: "How did they do it?"
Walid Muhammad Hajj: "Once, when I was sleeping – on the floor, not on a bed – I suddenly felt that a cat was trying to penetrate me. It tried to penetrate me again and again. I recited the kursi verse again and again until the cat left."
Interviewer: "But there wasn't really any cat there?"
Walid Muhammad Hajj: "Absolutely not." [...]