Former Guantanamo prisoners released after years of detention without charge went home to find themselves stigmatized and shunned, viewed either as terrorists or U.S. spies, according to a report released on Wednesday, AP reported.
The report by human rights advocates urged U.S. President-elect Barack Obama to form an independent, nonpartisan commission with subpoena powers to investigate the treatment of U.S. detainees in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Guantanamo Bay U.S. Navy base in Cuba.
"We cannot sweep this dark chapter in our nation's history under the rug by simply closing the Guantanamo prison camp," said study co-author Eric Stover, director of the University of California at Berkeley's Human Rights Centre.
"The new administration must investigate what went wrong and who should be held accountable."
The authors at the centre and at the Centre for Constitutional Rights interviewed 50 U.S. government officials, military experts and former guards and interrogators, as well as 62 former Guantanamo prisoners in nine nations.
Two-thirds of the former captives said they had psychological and emotional problems, which the authors called consistent with being held in extreme isolation for extended periods.
Only six had regular jobs, with many saying employers would not hire anyone who had been held at Guantanamo.
"It doesn't matter that they cleared my name by releasing me. We still have this big hat on our heads that we were terrorists," said a Chinese Muslim former prisoner, one of eight who were settled in Albania in 2006.
That group was still struggling to learn Albanian and had abandoned hope of ever being reunited with their families, said the report titled "Guantanamo and Its Aftermath."