Last Update: Friday, December 10, 2004. 5:11pm (AEDT)
Hicks details abuse claims
Australian terrorism suspect David Hicks's lawyers have released new claims about the abuse of prisoners at the US's military prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.
The allegations include prisoners being beaten while blindfolded and handcuffed, terrorised by attack dogs, and forced to take drugs.
In an affidavit released today, Hicks outlines the abuse and mistreatment he has received and witnessed since being captured by US forces in Afghanistan three years ago.
He states that he has been beaten while blindfolded and handcuffed, struck with rifle butts and has seen other detainees brutalised with attack dogs.
He says that a group of detainees, including himself, was subjected to random beatings over an eight-hour session, while handcuffed and blindfolded.
Hicks's father, Terry Hicks, says he expects the Federal Government to dismiss his son's latest prisoner abuse claims.
Mr Hicks says the affidavit confirms what his son told him about abuse when they met last August.
"It's what we've been telling the Government here for the last two-and-a-half years, that these abuses were happening," he said.
"Now David's done an affidavit to confirm it but I suppose once again the Howard Government will say 'David's a liar and the Americans don't do that sort of thing'."
Federal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock has cast doubt on the latest claims.
"It sits a little uncomfortably with some of the earlier statements made by Mr Hicks's lawyers that certainly affirmed that while at Guantanamo Bay he had been humanely treated," Mr Ruddock said.
Mr Ruddock says he has been assured there has been no prisoner mistreatment at Guantanamo Bay but says US authorities will investigate the latest claims.
Mr Hicks is calling for an independent investigation.
"I just feel disappointed in the Government that they haven't had these inquiries," he said.
"They say they have and everything's above board but I'd like to see a full independent inquiry, not a military inquiry, not a government inquiry, let's have a fully independent inquiry to deal with it."