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Freed Pakistani Prisoner Recounts Guantanamo Prison Exp

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ISLAMABAD - Mohammad Sagheer, the first Pakistani to be freed from the American prison in Guantanamo, Cuba, awaits American response to his call for compensation, saying his business had been destroyed because of his "illegal detention".

"My wood cutter machine has been faulty for a year and I have no money to repair it," the poverty-stricken Sagheer told IRNA in an exclusive interview at his home village of Patan on the Karakuram Highway, which connects Pakistan and China.

Thousands of people have visited and greeted 51-year-old Sagheer since he was allowed by Pakistani officials to go home on November 4.

"Yes, I am happy to be with my family and the people," he said. "My family thought that I am dead. I believed that I would be released as I was innocent," he said. "I am not a rich man. I am not a leader but even then the people come to express sympathy with me," he said.

He said his family had taken one million rupees in loans to search for him and "now we do not have the money to repay the loans". Pakistani officials in Islamabad told him on return that he would be given 2000 dollars in compensation. "But I have been given only one hundred dollars," Sagheer said.

Recounting days of his captivity, Sagheer said his beard, mustache and hair were shaved forcibly before boarding a plane in Kandahar.

"The early days in Cuba were very difficult. The Americans did not allow us to give call for prayers (Azan) and to offer prayers. They beat the prisoners and held them from neck when they gave call to prayers.

"Some Arabs were beaten so badly that they fell unconscious and were taken to hospital," he added. He said that the soldiers had to give prisoners 10 minutes to finish meal and would take away the food after ten minutes.

"We protested it and went on hunger strike. Then they allowed us call to prayers and to offer prayers and extended eating time up to 30 minutes".

Sagheer said Americans held those who spit at the soldiers in a special room, which they called "India block". "Once I was taken to India block for solitary confinement. The block had cells, which were enclosed from four sides. They pump severe cold air into it to punish the prisoners."

About interrogation, Sagheer said, "Two interrogators and one translator interrogate the people. They always ask the prisoners why and how they went to Afghanistan. (They ask) where is Osama bin Laden (and if) they know any al-Qaeda man among the Guantanamo prisoners.

"They show prisoners photos and ask them if they know any of them," he said, adding the interrogation was always conducted while four sets of chains were put around the prisoner's body.

Asked about his feelings when he was informed about his release, he said, "I laughed when the new American general -- a sergeant -- and several soldiers along with a translator came to my cage and told me that I would be freed and sent to Pakistan". "Then I was shifted to a room from the cage. Three Afghans were also brought there. We were kept for almost 12 days there which had a TV set and VCRs.

Sagheer was arrested by the forces loyal to Afghan warlord General Abdul-Rashid Dostam in the northern Afghan province of Kunduz where he was for propagation.

"I was among 250 people, who were shifted to Shiberghan in containers. At least 50 were killed due to suffocation," he said.

"Then we were shifted to Kandahar. After few days we were put in a truck at the Kandahar airport and then we boarded a plane. I was blindfolded. My hands and legs were tied, my mouth was gagged and my ears shut. I did not know where I was being taken. We were given an apple in a plane.

"Later they gave bread and another apple. The plane landed apparently for fuel," Sagheer went on to say. He said the American soldiers told the prisoners that they had been shifted to Cuba after the plane landed.

-Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA). Redistributed via Press International News Agency (PINA).

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Call me crazy but somehow I have a feeling that story isn't entirely accurate.

Islamic Republic News Agency huh? aka. "tell the angry muslims what they want to hear" agency...

if there was shit this bad going on, there isn't a doubt in my mind that any one of our thousands of prick journalists would've blown it wide open by now.

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Originally posted by cintron

Call me crazy but somehow I have a feeling that story isn't entirely accurate.

Islamic Republic News Agency huh? aka. "tell the angry muslims what they want to hear" agency...

if there was shit this bad going on, there isn't a doubt in my mind that any one of our thousands of prick journalists would've blown it wide open by now.

Funny.... :laugh:

none-the-less, I've heard many of the far left journalists and others protest the conditions there. I'm sure the fact that 9/11 blinded people(military officials for ex.) of normal civil rights, had thrown our gov't of our normal dignitaries. You just don't see it in the normal news. And I'm not referring to the Islam news either A.K.A. Al-Jazeera. I mean from western journalists and other dissidents. Maybe it was really really hard in Guantanamo Bay but serves them right if ya ask me.

OK ... ppl innocently convicted OK they didn't but... as for the rest ... they got theirs all rite!!!

On another note...

"Maybe the Saudis should give compensation by slamming a 747 into Igloo's house."

They wouldn't be able to lawfullly give us compensation because they would be doing him and us, for that matter, a favor, that is putting him[igloo] out of his misery.

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