Annex A = Some Publicly Known Deaths of Detainees in U.S. Custody in Afghanistan and Iraq

Annex A: Some Publicly Known Deaths of Detainees in U.S. Custody in
Afghanistan and Iraq


Some Publicly Known Deaths of
Detainees in U.S. Custody in
Afghanistan and Iraq
Annex A: Some Publicly Known Deaths of Detainees in U.S. Custody in
Afghanistan and Iraq
No. Name Location
and Date
Cause of
Circumstances Surrounding Death
1. Mohammed
Near Lwara,
Aug. 28, 2002
Death by Blunt
Force Injuries
Army Criminal Investigation Division found
probable cause to believe that the commander and
three other members of Operational Detachment-
Alpha 343, 3rd Special Forces Group, had
committed the offenses of murder and conspiracy
when they lured Mohamed Sayari, an Afghan
civilian, into a roadblock, detained him, and killed
him. Investigation further found probable cause to
believe that a fifth Special Forces soldier had been
an accessory after the fact and that the team's
commander had instructed a soldier to destroy
incriminating photographs of Sayari’s body. No
court-martial or Article 32 hearing was convened.
One soldier was given a written reprimand. None of
the others received any punishment at all.2
2. Name
Nov. 2002
Death by
The CIA was reportedly involved in the killing of a
detainee in Afghanistan. A CIA case officer at the
“Salt Pit,” a secret U.S.-run prison just north of
Kabul, ordered guards to “strip naked an
uncooperative young Afghan detainee, chain him to
the concrete floor and leave him there overnight
without blankets,” the Washington Post reported
after interviewing four government officials familiar
with the case. According to the article, Afghan
guards “paid by the CIA and working under CIA
supervision” dragged the prisoner around the
concrete floor of the facility, “bruising and scraping
his skin,” before placing him in a cell for the night
without clothes. An autopsy by a medic listed
“hypothermia” as the cause of death, and the man
was buried in an “unmarked, unacknowledged
cemetery.” A U.S. government official interviewed
told the Post: “He just disappeared from the face of
the earth.”3
1 Most of the government autopsies and death reports received pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act
request redact the names of the deceased. We have been able to ascertain the names of the deceased by
matching the dates, places, and circumstances of each death with deaths that have been widely reported in
the media.
2 Records related to investigation, available at;;;;;
see also R. Jeffrey Smith, Army Reprimand Reported in Slaying: Officers Allegedly Killed Afghan in ‘02,
WASH. POST, Dec. 14, 2004.
3 Dana Priest, CIA Avoids Scrutiny of Detainee Treatment, WASH. POST, Mar. 3, 2005.
No. Name Location
and Date
Cause of
Circumstances Surrounding Death
and Dilawar
Dec. 4 and 10,
Death by Blunt
Force Injuries
Two Afghan detainees, Mullah Habibullah and
Dilawar, died at the Bagram detention facility in
Afghanistan while in the custody of the U.S.
military. During interrogation by members of the
U.S. Army’s 519th Military Intelligence Battalion,
the detainees were shackled to the ceiling with their
hands suspended over their shoulders for prolonged
periods. Both had suffered blunt force trauma to the
legs, and investigators determined that multiple
soldiers had beaten them. Military pathologists
determined within days of the deaths that the cause
was homicide. The autopsy for Dilawar notes death
was due to blunt force injuries to lower extremities
complicating coronary artery disease. Contusions
and abrasions on forehead, nose, head, behind ear,
neck, abdomen, buttock, elbow, thigh, knee, foot,
toe, hemorrhage on rib area and leg. Detainee died of
blunt force injuries to lower extremities,
complicating underlying coronary artery disease. 4
Nevertheless, for months afterwards, and not until
the New York Times obtained a copy of Dilawar’s
autopsy report, the military falsely asserted that the
men had died of natural causes.5
5. Jamal
Mar. 2003
Death by Blunt
Force Injuries
Arrested along with seven other Afghan detainees
and during seventeen days of detention allegedly
subjected to abuse including electric shocks, beating,
and immersion in water. No autopsy performed.6
6. Nagem
Sadun Hatab
Nasiriyah, Iraq
June 6, 2003
Death by
Evidence of recently fractured hyoid bone in the
neck and soft tissue hemorrhage extending
downward to the level of the right thyroid cartilage.
Autopsy revealed bone fracture, rib fractures,
contusions in mid abdomen, back and buttocks
extending to the left flank, abrasions on lateral
buttocks. Contusions on back of legs and knees;
abrasions on knees, left fingers and encircling to left
wrist. Lacerations and superficial cuts, right 4th and
5th fingers. Also, blunt force injuries, predominantly
recent contusions (bruises) on the torso and lower
extremities. Abrasions on left wrist are consistent
with use of restraints. No evidence of defense
injuries or natural disease. Manner of death is
homicide. DOD003329 refers to this case as
“strangulation, found outside isolation unit.”7
4 Annex B138-145, Autopsy Examination Report.
5 Tim Golden, Army Faltered in Investigating Detainee Abuse, N.Y. TIMES, May 22, 2005.
6 Deaths of Naseer uncovered by the non-governmental organization Crimes of War Project. The case was
also investigated by the U.N. office in Gardez, and the office of the Attorney General of the Afghan army.
Craig Pyes and Mark Mazetti, U.S. Probing Alleged Abuse of Afghans, L.A. TIMES, Sept. 21, 2004.
7 Annex B146-153. Excerpt from Autopsy Report and Death Certificate (full record available at;
No. Name Location
and Date
Cause of
Circumstances Surrounding Death
7. Dilar
Baghdad, Iraq
June 13, 2003
Death by Blunt
Force Injuries
Detainee died of head injuries in a US interrogation
facility. Dababa died of “closed head injury with a
cortical brain contusion and subdural hematoma.”8 A
sergeant beat Dababa while his squad leader was
present. The sergeant received rank reduction and 60
days’ confinement. His commanding officer, who
also beat the detainee, was charged with dereliction
of duty, given a reprimand and fined $2,000. 9
8. Abdul Wali Asadabad,
June 21, 2003
Death by Blunt
Force Injuries
Abdul Wali died in US military custody. In June
2004, the Justice Department charged a civilian
contractor working with the CIA with assault, rather
than murder. The indictment stated that the
contractor beat Abdul Wali, using his “hands and
feet, and a…flashlight.”10
9. Manadel al-
Abu Ghraib,
Nov. 4, 2003
Death by Blunt
Force Injuries
The autopsy report shows that the cause of his death
was “blunt force injuries complicated by
compromised respiration.” External injuries
including multiple contusions are consistent with
injuries sustained during apprehension. Fractures of
the ribs and a contusion of the left lung imply
significant blunt force injuries of the thorax and
likely resulted in impaired respiration. Ligature
marks of the wrists and ankles. Remote gunshot
wound of torso. No significant natural diseases
identified. According to investigating agents, during
interrogation of the detainee, a hood made of
synthetic material was placed over the head and neck
of the detainee. Cause of death: Blunt force injuries
complicated by compromised respiration. Manner of
Death: Homicide. DOD 003329 refers to this case as
“1 blunt force trauma and choking; died during
interrogation.” DOD 003325 refers to this case with
the notation “Q[uestioned] by OGA and NSWT
[Navy Seals] died during interrogation.”11
10. Abdul
Forward Oper.
Base, Gereshk,
Nov. 6, 2003
Death by Blunt
Force Injuries
Death caused by multiple blunt force injuries of the
lower torso and legs complicated by rhabdomyolisis
(release of toxins into the system due to destruction
of muscle).12
8 Annex B154-163, Excerpt from Autopsy Report and Death Certificate (full record available at;
9 Miles Moffeit, Brutal interrogation in Iraq, DENVER POST, May 19, 2004.
10 R. Jeffrey Smith, Interrogator Says U.S. Approved Handling of Detainee Who Died, WASH. POST, Apr.
13, 2005.
11 Annex B170-178, Excerpt from Autopsy Report and Death Certificate (full record, available at;; Annex B179-188, Excerpt from Autopsy
Report, entry No. 03-504) (full record, available at
12 Annex B189-195, Excerpt from Autopsy Report (full record, available at; Annex B183, Excerpt from Autopsy Report,
entry No. 03-144.
No. Name Location
and Date
Cause of
Circumstances Surrounding Death
11. Abd Hamad
Al-Qaim, Iraq
Nov. 26, 2003
Death By
Fifty-six-year-old Mowhoush died after two soldiers
slid a sleeping bag over his body, except his feet, and
rolled him repeatedly from his back to his stomach.
An autopsy report lists “asphyxia due to smothering
and chest compression” as the cause of death and
cites bruises from the impact with a blunt object. 13
The circumstance of death is recorded as “Q by MI,
died during interrogation.”14
12. Abu Malik
Mosul, Iraq
Death by
A U.S. Army investigation into the death of Abu
Malik Kenami is inconclusive but speculates that
Kenami may have suffered a heart attack. The file
notes that, on the day he died, Kenami had been
“punished with ups and downs several times . . . and
ha[d] his hands flex cuffed behind his back” (DOD
1285). He was also hooded, with “a sandbag placed
over [his] head (DOD 1284). “Ups and downs” are
“a correctional technique of having a detainee stand
up and then sit-down rapidly, always keeping them
in constant motion…for a time period that depends
on “the violation and the punisher” (DOD 1284). He
was found dead in the morning after having been
placed in his bed cuffed and hooded. The file states
that “[t]he cause of Abu Malik Kenami’s death will
never be known because an autopsy was never
performed on him” (DOD 1292) and describes his
death as “suspicious or questionable” (DOD 1282).
For reasons that are not made clear in the file,
Kenami's corpse was stored in a “reefer van” for five
days before it was turned over to a local mortician
(p.1298). Despite the report’s conclusion that he
exhibited no external signs, one sworn statement
states that he may have died from hypothermia, and
notes that he had a small scalp laceration and
hematoma “which forces me to entertain trauma as a
cause” (DOD 1331). The death certificate records
the cause of death as natural (DOD 1332).15
13. Zaidoun
Samarra, Iraq
Jan. 3, 2004
Death by
Nineteen-year-old detainee drowned after U.S.
soldiers allegedly forced him off a bridge in
Samarra. 16 Army investigation recommended
prosecution of four soldiers for manslaughter. One
soldier was sentenced to 45 days of confinement for
assault, obstruction of justice and dereliction of duty,
and one to six months’ confinement for assault and
13 Annex B96, supra note 387.
14 Annex B183, Excerpt from Autopsy Report, entry No. 03-571.
15 Annex B196, Death certificate excerpted from Army Report 15-6 Investigation (full record, available at
16 Article 15 Investigation Report, available at; Annex B197, Information Paper : Current
Status of Courts Martial : Samarra Bridge Incident.
No. Name Location
and Date
Cause of
Circumstances Surrounding Death
obstruction of justice. Two other soldiers received
non-judicial punishments.17
14. Abdul Jaleel Al Asad, Iraq
Jan. 9, 2004
Death by Blunt
Force Injuries
and Asphyxia
A 47-year-old Iraqi detainee died while being
interrogated by “OGA.” He was standing shackled to
the top of a door frame with a gag in his mouth at the
time he died. The cause of death was asphyxia and
blunt force injuries. Notes summarizing the
autopsies record the circumstances of death as “Q by
OGA, gagged in standing restraint.”18 Autopsy
report concludes cause of death of was asphyxia and
blunt force injuries. It also notes “deep contusions of
the chest wall, numerous displaced rib fractures,
lung contusions.”19
15. Naser Ismail Balad, Iraq
Jan. 2004
Death by
An unarmed Iraqi man was killed in his house in
January 2004. The army staff seargent admitted to
killing Ismail. He also tried to cover up the killing by
making the slaying look like self-defense. He was
acquitted of murder and obstruction of justice. 20
16. Mohammed
Munim al-
Baghdad, Iraq
Jan. 31, 2004
Death by Blunt
Force Injuries
On April, 25 2003, this prominent Iraqi scientist was
taken by U.S. soldiers. He was held at Baghdad
International Airport. On February 17, 2004, the
family received news from the ICRC that sixty-fiveyear-
old Mohammed al-Izerly was dead. He had
died over two weeks earlier on January 31, 2004.
The family commissioned their own autopsy, which
concluded that he had died from a blunt force injury
to the back of the head.21
17. Muhamad
Near Taal Al
Jal, Iraq
Feb. 28, 2004
Death by
An unarmed Iraqi cow-herder was shot in the head
by a soldier even though he was flexi-cuffed. At a
court-martial in August 2004, the soldier was found
not guilty of murder but guilty of voluntary
manslaughter. He was sentenced to three years’
confinement and given a dishonorable discharge.22
18. Unknown Mosul, Iraq
Apr. 5, 2004
Death by
A twenty-seven-year-old Iraqi male died while being
interrogated by Navy Seals. During his confinement
he was hooded, flexi-cuffed, sleep deprived and
subjected to hot and cold environmental conditions,
including the use of cold water on his body and
hood. The exact cause of death was “undetermined”
17 Soldier Cleared in Drowning Case, BBC WORLD NEWS, Jan. 8, 2005; T.A. Badger, Platoon Leader
Pleads Guilty in Iraq Case, ASSOCIATED PRESS, Mar. 14, 2005; G.I. Gets 45 Days for Assault of Iraqis,
ASSOCIATED PRESS, Mar. 15, 2005.
18 Annex B182, Excerpt from Autopsy Report, entry No. 04-014.
19 Annex B198-204, Autopsy Report.
20 Soldier Acquitted in Shooting of Iraqi, ASSOCIATED PRESS, May 27, 2005.
21 Luke Harding, “I Will Always Hate You People”: Family’s fury at mystery death, THE GUARDIAN
UNLIMITED, May 24, 2004.
22 Peter Boylan, Hawaii Soldier Convicted in Killing of Iraqi Civilian, HONOLULU ADVERTISER, Aug. 6,
No. Name Location
and Date
Cause of
Circumstances Surrounding Death
although the autopsy stated that hypothermia may
have contributed to his death. 23 Notes say he
“struggled/ interrogated/ died sleeping.”24
Kareem and
April 15, 2004
Death by
Two Iraqi men were allegedly shot in the back after
being detained by a Second Lieutenant in the U.S.
Marines who then hung a sign on their corpses with
the Marine Corps’ slogan, “No better friend, no
worse enemy.” It was alleged that a soldier shot
them in anger after learning that military intelligence
officers had decided not to detain them. The
Lieutenant faced a preliminary military hearing late
in April 2005 to determine whether he would face
court-martial for the killings, which he maintained
were committed in self-defense.25 Maj. Gen. Richard
A. Huck, commander of the 2nd Marine Division,
decided instead to drop all charges.26
21. Karim
Near Kufa,
May 21, 2004
Death by
U.S. troops fired on a car they thought was carrying
a radical Shia cleric. The driver, Karim Hassan was
injured and a U.S. army captain shot and killed him,
claiming it was a “mercy killing.” In March 2005,
the captain was convicted by court-martial of assault
with intent to commit voluntary manslaughter, which
carried a possible ten-year prison sentence.27 On
April 1, 2005, he was sentenced to dismissal from
the army, but received no prison sentence.28
22. Qassim
Sadr City, Iraq
Aug. 18, 2004
Death by
A sixteen-year-old wounded Iraqi was killed in a
purported “mercy killing” by U.S. soldier. In
December 2004, one soldier was sentenced to three
years’ imprisonment and another to one year.29
23. Name
Abu Ghraib,
Baghdad, Iraq
Aug. 18, 2004
Death by Gun
Iraqi male detainee in US custody at Abu Ghraib
was shot in the head August 2004. “A group of
prisoners became unruly and the guards used lethal
force to subdue the crowd. A shotgun was fired and
this detainee was struck and killed.”30
24. Thaher
Balad, Iraq
Oct. 25, 2004
Death by gun
shot wound
A hand-cuffed teenager was shot by a U.S. soldier
during a house search. A day earlier the soldier held
a 9mm pistol to the boy’s head, forced him to hold a
smoke grenade with the pin out, and held him by the
23 Annex B205-214, Autopsy Report.
24 Annex B181, Autopsy Summary, entry No 04-309.
25 Sarah Baxter, Goldman Sachs GI “Shot Iraqis in Back,” TIMES ONLINE, April 24, 2005.
26 US Marine Cleared of Iraq Killing, BBC WORLD REPORT, May 26, 2005.
27 U.S. Soldier Killed Iraqi in “Pity,” BBC WORLD NEWS, Sept. 8, 2005; Melissa Eddy, U.S. Army Captain
is Found Guilty in Shooting Death of Wounded Iraqi, STARS AND STRIPES, Mar. 31, 2005, available at,13190,SS_033105_Wounded,00.html.
28 Melissa Eddy, U.S. Military Dismisses Convicted Soldier, ASSOCIATED PRESS, Apr. 1, 2005.
29 Incident Left 7 Iraqi civilians dead; One GI Gets 3-year Murder Term, New Standard News, Dec. 11,
2004; Suzanne Goldberg, Iraq War is Breeding a New Generation of Professional Terrorists, Warns CIA
Report, GUARDIAN UNLIMITED, Jan. 15, 2005.
30 Annex B215-217, Excerpt from Autopsy Report (full record, available at
No. Name Location
and Date
Cause of
Circumstances Surrounding Death
throat. The boy was later released. The soldier was
convicted of premeditated murder, maltreatment, and
impeding the investigation. A military judge
sentenced the soldier to eight years imprisonment.
Because of a plea agreement the sentence was
reduced to seven years.31
31 Steve Liewer, 1st ID Soldier Gets Seven Years in Killing of Iraqi Detainee, STARS AND STRIPES, May 20,
2005, available at