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You are here News Human Rights Lawyers Criticize Quality of Guantanamo Interpreters

Lawyers Criticize Quality of Guantanamo Interpreters

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Something was being lost in interpretation. Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi, a Saudi national accused of war crimes and murder for his alleged role in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, was speaking in Arabic. Ralph H. Kohlmann, a Marine colonel and military judge at Guantanamo Bay, was listening to a simultaneous interpretation in English.

A linguist working with Hawsawi's team later estimated that half of what the defendant said was rendered incorrectly by court interpreters and that Hawsawi didn't understand at least 25 percent of what was said in English. 

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