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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 December 2005, 10:15 GMT
'Tortured' Australian speaks out
Mamdouh Habib, undated photo
Mr Habib claims he was forced to make confessions under torture
A former Australian terror suspect says he was caught up in the controversial US policy of transferring detainees to foreign countries for interrogation.

Mamdouh Habib claims he was tortured while held for a period in his native Egypt during his four years in custody.

He told the BBC he was brain-washed, beaten and given electric shocks.

The US State Department has not commented on his specific allegations, but says it does not transfer prisoners for the purposes of torture.

Mr Habib told the BBC's World Service that, after his "kidnap" in Pakistan in 2001, he was moved between Egypt, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay until his release at the beginning of 2005.

He says he does not know who was holding him, but "I saw Americans.. Australians.. Pakistanis.. and Egyptians."

Strong denials

He spoke of being tortured while in detention in Egypt.

"It is a place for torture. I was beaten, electric shock... no sleep, injections, brainwashed - unbelievable stuff," he said.

Australian Guantanamo Bay detainee Mamdouh Habib steps off a chartered jet as he arrives in Sydney, Australia, Friday, Jan. 28, 2005
Born in Egypt, but has lived in Australia since 1980
Arrested in Pakistan after 11 September attacks
Flown to Egypt, where his lawyer says he was tortured
Transferred to Guantanamo Bay in May 2002
Released January 2005

He was made to feel like a baby, and forced into making a number of confessions, he said. "I just repeated what they wanted me to say," he told the BBC.

He admitted to investigators helping to train the 9/11 hijackers in martial arts - a statement he has since withdrawn.

US officials have claimed Mr Habib had close ties with al-Qaeda and prior knowledge of the attacks on New York and Washington.

The 49-year-old former cafe owner was released without charge in January. He has denied any involvement in terrorist activity.

The Australian government has since investigated his allegations of torture but found no evidence to substantiate them.

Profile: Mamdouh Habib
28 Jan 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Habib linked to al-Qaeda
15 Feb 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Australian 'may have been abused'
14 Feb 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Australian freed from Guantanamo
28 Jan 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Australia against Habib cashing in
25 Jan 05 |  Asia-Pacific
Howard: No apology for Habib
12 Jan 05 |  Asia-Pacific

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