|07-21-2003, 09:30 PM||#1|
Blue Crack Addict
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: A far distance down.
Local Time: 11:46 AM
Who ARE the war criminals? unlawful combatants?
Guanatamo Returnee Sues U.S. For Damage
"For almost one year I faced the worst kind of torture, inhuman treatment and humiliation," Sagheer
ISLAMABAD, July 21 (IslamOnline.net & News Agencies) - A Pakistani man released from the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba filed suit Sunday, July 20, against the United States for 10.4 million dollars in compensation for the "torture and humiliation" he faced in detention.
Mohammad Sagheer, the first Pakistani to be released from the maximum security, open-air Camp X-Ray prison on a U.S. naval base in Guantanamo, Cuba, said his detention was "illegal and immoral," and spoke of being held in a freezing cell for a week during his interrogation.
"For almost one year I faced the worst kind of torture, inhuman treatment and humiliation, first in Afghanistan then in Cuba," 53-year-old Sagheer told reporters.
"They continued to ask me 'where is Osama bin Laden, what do you know about al-Qaeda, Taliban and its leader Mullah Omar.'
"I told them I have heard about al-Qaeda for the first time."
While in custody in Cuba, Sagheer said he was kept in a tiny cage-like cell and forced to donate blood on a monthly basis, Agence France-Presse (AFP).
Displaying the pinch marks on veins in his right forearm, Sagheer said almost all the prisoners were forced to give blood. "They would beat us if we refused."
A bearded Sagheer, wearing the traditional "pakol" or white flat cap, said he did not know why he was repeatedly required to give blood and said the quantity they would take was "certainly not for any blood tests."
His lawyer Ikram Chaudhry said Sagheer's release last November proved his innocence.
Three other Pakistani prisoners were freed earlier this year, while 11 more returned to Pakistan from Cuba last week.
Another 43 remain in detention, behind bars since November 2001 after the fall of the Taliban regime by a U.S.-led forces.
Five of the recently released former detainee and were taken to a military hospital on their return to Pakistan. The rest are being interrogated by security agencies.
Sagheer, who hails from northwestern Kohistan on the Afghan border, said his detention, and his new-found freedom, has come at a heavy price.
"The detention collapsed my business and put my family under debt. They sold my farmland and then borrowed money to know my whereabouts," Sagheer said.
Sagheer said he was abducted by the forces of former Afghan warlord Abdul Rashid Dostam from northern Kunduz soon after the fall of the Taliban.
He had been part of a party of Tableeghi Jamaat (party of Islamic preachers) when he was captured by Dostam's men and bundled along with 250 other prisoners into a metal container that was carried to the southern Kandahar base for onward transportation to Cuba.
En route 50 of them died of suffocation, he said.
Chaudhry said he had sent legal papers to the U.S. justice, defense and state departments claiming 10.4 million dollars in compensation for "mental torture and loss of family business" suffered by Sagheer.
He said he had given notice to the U.S. authorities to respond by August 9.
"If we don't get their response, we will initiate legal proceedings in the U.S. Supreme Court" through American lawyers, he said, adding that he would contact the United Nations and human rights organizations.
"The U.S. administration understands very well, this is a valid and strong case."
On June 8, the father of an Australian detained in Guantanamo shut himself in a wire cage near the venue of a function attended by Prime Minister John Howard to highlight his son's plight.
About 650 men from some 40 different countries are being held without trial at the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo Bay over charges of links with the al-Qaeda and Taliban. Detainees in orange jumpsuits sit in a holding area under the watchful eyes of Military Police at Camp X-Ray
Many governments and rights group including the United Nations have spoken out against the treatment of the Guantanamo detainees, who Bush has said are not prisoners of war and thus cannot benefit from rights entitled them under the Geneva Convention.
The U.S.-based Human Rights Watch had frequently called on the Bush administration to investigate and address charges of torture of those detainees or risk criminal prosecution.
Amnesty accused the Bush administration of violating human rights afforded by the Geneva conventions by refusing to allow the prisoners access to lawyers, courts or relatives.
|07-21-2003, 10:51 PM||#3|
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Join Date: Aug 2002
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Local Time: 01:46 PM
|07-22-2003, 04:54 AM||#4|
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: on a one of these small green spots at that blue planet at the end of the milky way
Local Time: 07:46 PM
I'm looking forward to that case. I'm pro justice - if the US did something to innocent people and violated human rights they are guilty, if not the US don't have to worry about that case and they can show the public that they met humanitarian standards.
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