Two former CIA captives recently described being threatened with a makeshift electric chair — a previously unreported torture method — while being held in the U.S. government’s infamous “Salt Pit” prison in Afghanistan.
In independent interviews with Human Rights Watch in August that were made public on Monday, Ridha al-Najjar, 51, and Lufti al-Arabi al-Gharisi, 52, described a metal device that had wires with clips that would attach to the fingers, and a helmet connected to wires.
“I saw an electric box, … the chair. They said, we will torture you with electricity here,” al-Gharisi said.
Al-Gharisi said he was forced into the chair and connected to the machine, but was never actually electrocuted.
Both men also described various forms of water torture, including having their heads dunked in a bucket of water until they couldn’t breathe, waterboarding, and being strapped to a board while submerged face down in a bathtub.
This is the first time al-Najjar and al-Gharisi, both of who are Tunisian nationals, have spoken out about their time in CIA custody.
There is no mention of electric chairs in the unclassified executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Torture Report that was released in December 2014.