After four years of investigations, a damning report published today has uncovered some shocking details of the "brutal" interrogation techniques used by some CIA officials against detainees.

Included are claims that some detainees were:

  • Shackled to the wall and given buckets for human waste

  • Subjected to involuntary "rectal feeding" or "rectal hydration" without any documented medical need

  • Subjected to several days' continuous sleep deprivation - often while standing

  • Waterboarded to the stage of "near-drownings"

  • Held in confinement boxes - intended to look like coffins - for several hours

  • Threatened with harm and sexual assault of family members

The impact of such "abhorrent" techniques was profound.

The report details how one detainee, Majid Khan - who was subjected to rectal feeding and hydration - engaged in acts of self-harm including an attempt to chew into his arm at the inner elbow and an attempt to cut into his skin at the elbow using a filed toothbrush.

Arsala Khan - who is believed to have helped Osama Bin Laden's escape from pursuit following the World Trade Centre attacks - was forced to stand for more than two days, after which point he was described as being "visibly shaken by his hallucinations depicting dogs mauling and killing his sons and family".

Leg shackles are seen on the floor at a detention center in Guantanamo Bay, 2009. Credit: Reuters

The report indicates that one suspected militant, Gul Rahman, had been shackled in a way that meant he was forced to sit on a bare concrete floor wearing only a sweatshirt, on the orders of one CIA officer.

Rahman was found dead the next day, with an internal review and autopsy finding that he "likely died from hypothermia" - in part due to the conditions, as well as dehydration, lack of food and immobility do to his "short chaining".

At least three people were threatened with harm to their families, the report found - including threats to sexually abuse the mother of one detainee, threats to "cut [a detainee's] mother's throat" and a threat to harm the children of a detainee.

Children were also directly affected. Khadija Al Saadi, who was rendered by the CIA at 12 years of age, today described her experiences of being "bundled onto a dark plane, separated from my parents, and told to keep my two younger brothers and younger sister quiet and calm".

When we landed, I was told to go and say goodbye to my father, who was bound up and had a needle in his arm. I fainted, because I was sure we were going to be killed. We now have the actual faxes and flight plans that prove that the CIA arranged the whole thing.

Khadija Al Saadi