CAGE Outreach Director and former detainee of Guantanamo Bay and Bagram prisons, Moazzam Begg said:
“In the Kandahar detention facility, where we had been beaten, stripped naked, spat on, violated and photographed by the US soldiers, British intelligence agents – that had once visited my house – came to interrogate me. We were transported by American soldiers who had pushed us into the bowing position whilst our hands were shackled behind our backs and our ankles changed together and our heads were hooded. Their guns were repeatedly pointed at us as they chambered rounds and threatened to shoot us. Our cells were made of razor wire inside converted hangers. It was in this place that I first and last, encountered the Kuwaiti prisoner, Fayiz al-Kandari. Our conversation was brief, as he was being escorted by soldiers but his words have been engraved in my heart since.
“Asalaamu alaikum dear brother, don’t be saddened. Deliverance from Allah is near”
We were both eventually sent to Guantanamo. I was released three years later, his deliverance came this week, after 14 years – without charge or trial. Al-Kandari’s ordeal is not completely over, as he will be held in a rehabilitation centre in Kuwait. But just like Shaker Aamer few weeks ago, he is free of Guantanamo.
Similarly, the two Yemenis – Mahmud Umar Muhammad bin Atef and Khalid Muhammad Salih al-Dhuby – who were released earlier this week, albeit as strangers, are free to start a life in Ghana. They leave behind 102 prisoners in Guantanamo, most of whom are from their native Yemen. The US is refusing to repatriate people to Yemen because of the instability of that country and are paying the price for a problem or a crime they haven’t committed. Their ordeal should now also end”.
(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)