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Deportees: CIA behind torture interrogations

Rebecca Martin · 5 Oct 2011, 16:51

Published: 05 Oct 2011 16:51 GMT+02:00

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Ahmed Agiza and Mohammed Al Zery were handed over to the CIA by Swedish security service agents as part of a so called terror suspect “rendition” operation carried out by the US spy agency.

For the first time, the two men have been able to share their story with the public.

In an interview on the Swedish investigative journalsim program Uppdrag Granskning, which airs on Sveriges Television (SVT) on Wednesday night, they tell their story of what happened when they were deported from Sweden.

"For a long time I have wanted people, especially Swedes, to know the whole truth," Mohammed Al Zery told SVT.

According to Al Zery and Agiza, they were taken to Bromma Airport, a small airport near Stockholm, after being arrested by agents from Swedish security service Säpo and informed of the deportation.

At the airport, an American plane with seven CIA agents and two people from the Egyptian security service were waiting for them as they were escorted by Säpo officers.

The nine people from the plane were dressed in civilian clothing and were all masked.

Al Zery and Agiza were taken into the small police station at Bromma airport where their clothes were cut off them, their hands and feet were chained, and they were blindfolded before they were taken onto the waiting plane.

”They threw me down on the floor and pressed their knees in my back. They tore all our clothes off and put a diaper, a blindfold and transportation clothes on us,” Agiza said in the interview.

All the while, the Säpo officers, as well as conventional police officers, stood by and witnessed what the men described as excessively violent treatment.

”I was surprised and shocked. I had a positive image of Sweden, of Swedish politics and democracy,” Agiza told SVT.

A Säpo officer was told there was no room for her on the plane. Instead a Swedish police officer and an interpreter from Säpo were allowed on board.

Both men were treated unkindly by the guards during the transport down to Egypt.

Muscle relaxant given to the two Egyptians prior to the journey made it difficult for them to breathe, but when they tried to speak to the guards they received harsh reponses.

”The guard thought that I was lifting up my blindfold to see him, so he started punching me in the face,” said Al Zery to SVT.

Once the two men had arrived in Egypt they were isolated from each other for months, despite being kept only a few metres apart.

Both were kept in solitary confinement with their eyes covered at all times. The only objects in the cells were a cement slab, a water bottle, and a bottle to urinate in.

According to the two men, their interrogations would commence in the evening and go on until dawn, night after night.

Al Zery told SVT that he was systematically beaten and hung from the ceiling by his feet.

Electric shocks were also part of the routine.

”They take your clothes off, you are blindfolded, your hands are tied behind your back and your feet are chained up. Then you are put on a wet mattress. The interrogator sits down – and then he begins,” Al Zery said.

According to him, the shock treatment is different from how most people imagine it.

The interrogator has a hand-held device and he can control the strength of the shocks.

”He increases the strength. He gets to the more sensitive points – the penis and testicles – and starts doling out bursts of electricity,” he said.

Story continues below…

The mattress is kept wet so that the prisoner will feel the shocks throughout his body. According to Al Zery, he was sometimes forced to take cold showers after the interrogations so that the injuries wouldn't show as much.

A doctor was also present at all times during the interrogations to keep the prisoners alive.

In the interview both men say that they are certain that the Americans were behind the interrogations and that they were only using the Egyptians to do their dirty work.

”The Egyptians asked questions that related to Egypt, for example why are you attacking the regime? It was all about Egyptian interests. The Americans on the other hand asked about what was going on in Pakistan and what do you think of Osama bin Laden? It was obvious that the Americans were in control of the interrogations,” said Agiza to SVT.

The SVT report also reveals that former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak wanted to thank Sweden for their help in bringing Agiza and Al Zery back to Egypt.

According to a previously secret report sent from Sweden's embassy in Cairo detailing a meeting with a general in the Egyptian security service, Mubarak said that he wanted "a thank you letter to be sent to the responsible Swedish minister" for Sweden's help in the matter.

In 2008, the Swedish state agreed to pay both men 3 million kronor ($435,000) in compensation after admitting they were wrongly expelled.

Rebecca Martin (rebecca.martin@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

20:34 October 5, 2011 by rybo1
This kind of horror should be forbidden. In this matter shame on Sweden for following the Devil's bidding. The Devil A.K.A the USA. Hopefully, what is happening at Wall street is a harbinger of what´s to come.

We need decency, caring and a very strong attitude towards human dignity. The USA is not the model to follow, it's the model to completely shun. Is there a difference between the USA, Nazis or the Soviet Gulag? Or the unknown brutality in Saudi, Bahrain and other less known places?

It´s time to shut this evil,police state, Global system down.
21:12 October 5, 2011 by Smile123
The 911 was an inside job, Why they torture innocents to justify their lies?

How it is possible to break the multi-billion security system of USA and crash 4 airplane within hour? and where are the plane parts which crashed in pentagon and one crashed in desert/jungle?

Why the 3rd building melted down to ground same time? nothing has crashed to that building?

Sweden should not listen to any country. they should investigate their own Handing over an innocents to US officials who allow tortures and break international law is unforgivable sin. I hope the Swedes Politicians understand that US is not always rights.
21:19 October 5, 2011 by The Grand Master
Perfect, 3 million kronor (is that each?!!!) of our tax money going to another worthy cause. Why is the solution to every 'human rights' abuse to give the so called abused loads of money? Like seriously large amounts.... How many children in Africa would that 3 Million Kronor vaccinate against deadly diseases? (I am totally in favour of large payments of foreign aid-directly targeted of course) No, let's just give it to the undeserving.

More Swedish guilt complex, let the Americans pay if they did what was claimed.

About time you Swedes get your priorities right.

By the way, rybo1, you will grow up soon and realize how the world really works.
21:35 October 5, 2011 by Svensksmith
For 3 million, I'll take some abuse please.
21:54 October 5, 2011 by h2m
this is a fraction of the causes for the arab spring
22:01 October 5, 2011 by ROCKYF
Are you kidding me , boo hoo , these two were up to something otherwise they wouldn't have been picked up or singled out , please give me a break !!!! Just go home if you don't like the country you have moved to such as Sweden or the USA , we didn't invite you so if you don't like it GO HOME !!!!!
23:14 October 5, 2011 by Smile123

It is about law and torturing an innocents and taking their freedom for nothing.

It is not about go home go home.

I am very sure that many who comments on the local are not living in Sweden at all. Many paid trolls are online these days.
23:43 October 5, 2011 by gh2008

back home, i had an American friend. he didn't really like it there. unlike you, i couldn't afford saying "GO HOME" to him. he was armed to the teeth!
00:14 October 6, 2011 by Blecch
Why is it that every time I visit this site and look at the comments section of an article related to the US there's some mention of 9/11 as an inside job? Is this reflective of a few crackpots who happen to religiously visit this site or a general perception in Sweden?
00:26 October 6, 2011 by MarkinBoston
Arab Muslims tortured by Arab Muslims. Nothing to see here, move on. Arab Muslims EXPECT to be tortured by Arab Muslims. It's only when Americans are involved in the slighted way that it makes news.
01:08 October 6, 2011 by ctinej
I read that all or most of the Jewish workers were NOT in the towers that 911 day. Coincidence?

Those two guys were arrested for a reason. Sweden should not feel guilt for responding to international attempts to find terrorists. Maybe they should have checked a little more though. 4000 dead and tortured from flames, is what the 911 terrorists did. NONE of the 4000 were suspect for anything. NONE of them did anything to deserve it. If a hand full of suspected terrorists get treated wrongly, that is a small part of the whole thing.

Most of the 911 people's families got about $1M each in dollars. Many , many who were NOT involved tried to claim restitution. Lousy people everywhere!!!

I would suspect the two, thinking that they came up with a story to get $. Who knows? If they escaped, I would still suspect them. But they were returned, presumably cleared of any affiliation with terrorists. If anything their treatment may create two new terrorists. Plenty of hatred that is for sure.

Perhaps 100 new terrorists are created each time a drone from the USA blows up another residential house full of families in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Would the father of a child with no arms and legs suggest that another of his kids seek revenge?

I have always thought that the World's biggest antagonist is the CIA. The atrocities, verified and not that they have committed, the coups, the assassinations, the invasions, the wars, the illegal activity. If they would leave other countries alone, perhaps we would not see so much terrorism.

Big Bullies create little Terrorists.
01:58 October 6, 2011 by Chickybee
Take the money and stay in Egypt where you belong and where life is living Hell for Copts on a daily basis.
05:06 October 6, 2011 by Blecch
Ctinej, you ought read more widely. For starters:


Between 270 and 400 Jewish folks were killed on 9/11 (among them Israeli nationals). It's convenient to blame the CIA or Israel... or better yet both as conspirators for everything wrong with the world. You overestimate them.
05:45 October 6, 2011 by ctinej
I stand corrected and a little more educated. It was just something I read.
07:33 October 6, 2011 by philster61
And is it any wonder Julian Assange wants to stay clear of Sweden..... He knows the moment he steps onto Swedish soil the CIA will be on him like a ton of bricks....
09:20 October 6, 2011 by Twiceshy
Chef of criminal organization SAPO should be in prison for this. Anyone who wants to beat and kill people without to be punished, he can apply for job at SAPO.
09:45 October 6, 2011 by RobinHood
@ Twiceshy

Too right. The Swedish politicians and SÄPO agents who organised and handled this little party broke the law. Extra judicial kidnapping and extradition are very serious crimes. "I was only obeying orders" is not an acceptable defence for SÄPO agents, who must have known they were way into the dark side as they bundled two struggling men into a CIA airplane and watched them being roughed up.

The cost to the taxpayer, so far, seems to be at least six million crowns. I assume Sweden hasn't sent the bill to the US embassy. The cost to Sweden's reputation is higher, is there rule of law here, or is this a tinpot banana republic? The later seems to be the case.

It would be nice to know who was involved, and hear their explanations why they showed such poor judgment. Are these people still in positions of authority and trust? I hope not, but I expect they are.

Why is Assange wrong in fearing he will be handed over to the Americans in a similar way, when people in power in Sweden have a track record for doing just that?
10:46 October 6, 2011 by ferdio
It is too sad and scary, we live in the world where nothing is no longer done out of principle or 'common sense' (Showing the having sense is no longer common).

Maybe it may be nice to ask those that still claim to be living or coming from 'civilised' society, what they actually understand by the word 'CIVILISED'?

If you are so civilised and want others to learn from you, should your attitude to them resonate with civility or worse crude and barbaric than their attitude?

To be civilised is shown through behaviour Not rhetoric.

If we for once forget about hiding behind 'nationalism' (In often self-destructive way of aiding and abetting evil), then we should be better patriotic by demanding that those representing our interest and values, show example to those we claim to be better than, through behaviour towards them even when they do us bad.

Since, after the days of Western barbaric acts of colonialism and slavery, till modern day so-called 'anti-terror' war, with acts of advanced terror, no rational person will consider the West to be any close to being civilised.

The West must go back to the drawing board and learn the meaning of civility (Being civilized), and importantly how one can never stop evil with more evil. The Bible (Which the Western civilization was built upon), is clear on that, 'By their fruits we shall know them' not by their rhetoric or hypocrisy, because everything done in the dark will eventually come in the open. Also in the same Bible it states: 'Do unto others as you wish unto yourself'. Will you like it if done/given to you? If yes, then do/give it to others.

You can only convince someone doing evil or a group you claim to be barbaric, that your way is better, when in contact with them you are able to show them by your acts towards them (Even in secret), that your way is better.

In other words if the 'West' are any 'morally' better than those 'terrorists or barbarians' then they'd ought to show them the alternative 'humane' way.

History/Stories of colonialism, neo-colonialism, extra-judicial killings, 'outsourced torture/killings', conspiracies to terror and genocide overseas etc..., by the 'supposed civilised' Westerners, all points to one thing. The West has nothing better to offer the uncivilised or the barbarians, so they can as well stop lecturing those 'barbarians or the terrorists' to change their ways.

Unless when they in the West start to live by (Showing them not preaching the alternative) examples, both in open and in secret. So far it is Zero.
11:29 October 6, 2011 by muscle
its very sad that this happened. But I would blame more the govts of muslim countries who are not strong. Its about time that they start respecting their own citizens.

Whether sweden did wrong or good, if your country is week, economically for example, no country is going to respect you.

Try the same with chinese citizens now and see what treatment you get from the chinese govt!. So its about time to start forcing the muslim govts to have some self respect!
12:15 October 6, 2011 by HYBRED
As with the western countries, the leaders in the Muslim run countries and China are still part politician. And politicians and self respect do not go together.
13:11 October 6, 2011 by rybo1
Oh, dearest "Grand Master". I can´t grow up much more as I'm 64 years old. I know quite well how the world really works. I've worked and lived in many different countries. Growing up is making this world a better place to live in without fear of random kidnapping, torture and wars of choice. If you're satisfied with the way the world really works then so be it. By the way there is only one Grand Master and it ain't you.
13:24 October 6, 2011 by motti
#11. Try reading less conspiracy items and facts. If you really want to know what is going on, lookup DEBKAFILE on the web.

I do so every day, and I don't need to bother with RT, CNN, BBC, SKY, Al Jazeera etc. Some areas of the website, are really more for international intelligence and they need to pay. However, most of it is totally free. You will never need to question, nor apologise again.

Happy surfing.
14:44 October 6, 2011 by Roy E
Hmmm. This could damage Sweden's reputation as a safe harbor for terrorists.
01:20 October 7, 2011 by Lars-Mars
How horrible... Actually I'm just heard an American journalist speak in Stockholm about US detainee abuse and torture. He discussed many dimensions of the issue that I hadn't considered, and never even realized -- like the destructive use of torture for gathering intelligence, and the ways in traumatizes the soldiers. He wrote a book that sounds quite interesting titled, "None of Us Were Like This Before." I believe he's still giving a talk or two in Stockholm. Do check him out as he's quite impressive.
12:34 October 7, 2011 by Scansson
The CIA & SAPO are Torturing and Expelling Arab Muslim Terrorists and they get paid for it?

OK, Where do I sign-up : )
12:41 October 7, 2011 by wikblom
This appears to be just more anti-American Arabic B.S., casting stones at the bogey -man, blaming the U.S. & Sweden for torture by their own country of origin, Egypt. Even if it were true, all the U.S. did was furnish the plane that took them home to their loving countrymen. Terrorists get what they deserve in this life and Arab terrorists do not belong in Sweden.
10:27 October 8, 2011 by Robbie619
Torture has helped in getting information about terrorists. I fully support the CIA's interrogation techniques because terrorists torture American troops when they capture them. When I was a Marine in Iraq there were plenty of Marines saved because we would torture insurgents and they would tell us were IEDS were placed. We found out where other insurgents were hiding and their plans. Back in 2005 during the invasion of Falllujah we would kill over 200 some days while not having any wounded on our side. This was in large part to intelligence gathering techniques which included interrogation. Torture works if you have expert interrogators.
13:48 October 8, 2011 by OUIJA
How much money did the deportees get this time? They should write a book about the whole drama and make more.
18:49 October 12, 2011 by jvtx3232
I am an American and do not support CIA rendition and torture, etc. in general. In fact I believe the CIA to be in essence a "state-sponsored terrorist organization" that our government likes to feign indignation about so much in other countries.

However, having said that, in this particular case I do support cleaning up Sweden in particular of Middle Eastern terrorists. Sweden is a peaceful country and doesn't deserve to be swept up in the whole "War on Terrorism" crap. Sweden shouldn't be used as a safety zone, if you will, by the terrorists.
00:18 October 19, 2011 by godnatt
I'm sure they were just picked up for being hard working, peace loving, nice guys... Please. Wake up.

Good riddance.
09:47 October 25, 2011 by Bushyblondehead
Why do they always show lesbians kissing to the right. Sicko's
14:47 October 25, 2011 by johnoleson
Dear Bushblondehead,

I secondly state your observation and I'll rephrase it.

Why must The Local always show lesbians kissing to the right? I show articles to my family and this continual picture shows an obsession of the part of the editorial staff. Is The Local trying to enter into soft porn or something? Yes "SICKO'S"
09:57 July 5, 2012 by robban70226
What a shocking disgrace for Sweden,

Can the Swedish security service agents be identified and charge with inhuman torture or something like that?
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