David Gray has called for greater examination of the playing of loud music - including his own song Babylon - during torture at Guantanamo Bay.

Suspected terrorist detainees are repeatedly subjected to loud music during interrogation at Guantanamo and other US bases with a wide variety of songs used, from heavy metal acts such as Metallica and Rage Against The Machine, to hip-hop stars such as Eminem and Dr Dre to novelty tracks such as the theme song for Barney the dinosaur.

But speaking on BBC Radio 4's World Tonight programme, Gray called for greater public discussion of the matter.

"Only the novelty aspect of this story gets it noticed... Guantanamo greatest hits," he said.

"What we're talking about here is people in a darkened room, physically inhibited by handcuffs, bags over their heads and music blaring at them."

"That is nothing but torture."

He continued: "It doesn't matter what the music is - it could be Tchaikovsky's finest or it could be Barney the Dinosaur.

"It really doesn't matter, it's going to drive you completely nuts.

"No-one wants to even think about it or discuss the fact that we've gone above and beyond all legal process and we're torturing people," he added.

The charity Reprieve, which was associated with the recent Meltdown festival curated by Massive Attack, has created a petition to encourage artists to ban their music being used in the situations discussed by Gray.

04/07/2008 08:23:19