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C4 programs to spotlight torture

20/20-produced show kicks off series

LONDON — U.K. broadcaster Channel 4 has launched a season of four programs examining the use of torture in the war against terror.

First up, one-off reality show “The Guantanamo Guidebook” re-creates the conditions and “coercive interrogation methods” used at the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Over 48 hours in an east London warehouse, seven male volunteers, three of them Muslim, agreed to submit themselves to torture techniques inspired by declassified U.S. government internal documents.

These include painful stress positions, sleep deprivation, removal of clothing, exposure to extremes of temperature and the use of mild noninjurious physical contact.

“Guidebook” volunteers were also subjected to religious and sexual humiliation. One contestant had to withdraw after seven hours due to hypothermia.

The 20/20-produced show, which is presented by news anchor Jon Snow, will kick off the series of programs when it goes out later this month.

C4 also has commissioned films by Clive Stafford Smith, the first British lawyer permitted to visit Guantanamo, and investigative journalist Andrew Gilligan to examine “the secret worldwide network of torture being used to extort information from alleged Al Qaeda suspects.”

The last program looks at alleged use of torture in the U.S. prison system.

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