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Did American guards really hire prostitutes to menstruate on detainees' faces? Egyptian-born Habib has been an Australian citizen since ; he was arrested in Pakistan in October and held at Guantanamo Bay for nearly three years. He was released at the start of this year and returned to Sydney on 28 January. His shocking story speedily made its way around the world — veteran anti-war writer John Pilger repeated it in the British New Statesman , and it was reported by BBC News 2.
Jamal al-Harith, a father-of-three from Manchester, England, has twice spoken of such humiliation since he was released from Guantanamo last year. Guantanamo Bay is without doubt a deeply unpleasant place. It is a disgrace that men have been held in legal limbo, and that, to date, no charges have been brought and many have not even been told the evidence against them.
The American lawyer is right: these sound like scenes from a horror film. What is the evidence to support this story? Looking into the mystery of the hookers raises as many questions as answers; there does seem to have been some form of sexual humiliation at Guantanamo, but there is little evidence that it involved menstruating prostitutes.
Emma Tom, a columnist for The Australian , was sceptical about the Habib story. Add to this equation the six-day length of the average period and the gluggy consistency of its by-product, and the chance of a threatening geyser is really quite thin.
So how exactly did Habib describe what had taken place? This means that on the two occasions that the alleged use of menstruating hookers has become a big international story — first in March when the Mirror reported it, and second when Hopper described in January what had allegedly happened to Habib — the source was former British detainee Jamal al-Harith.