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had a good time at Guantanamo, says inmate

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    had a good time at Guantanamo, says inmate

    Well, what do you know. The juveniles at Guantanamo had a good time!. Let's see how we can spin this as torture?!

    I had a good time at Guantanamo, says inmate
    By Rajeev Syal
    (Filed: 08/02/2004)

    An Afghan boy whose 14-month detention by US authorities as a terrorist suspect in Cuba prompted an outcry from human rights campaigners said yesterday that he enjoyed his time in the camp.

    Mohammed Ismail Agha, 15, who until last week was held at the US military base in Guantanamo Bay, said that he was treated very well and particularly enjoyed learning to speak English. His words will disappoint critics of the US policy of detaining "illegal combatants" in south-east Cuba indefinitely and without trial.

    In a first interview with any of the three juveniles held by the US at Guantanamo Bay base, Mohammed said: "They gave me a good time in Cuba. They were very nice to me, giving me English lessons."

    Mohammed, an unemployed Afghan farmer, found the surroundings in Cuba at first baffling. After he settled in, however, he was left to enjoy stimulating school work, good food and prayer.

    "At first I was unhappy . . . For two or three days [after I arrived in Cuba] I was confused but later the Americans were so nice to me. They gave me good food with fruit and water for ablutions and prayer," he said yesterday in Naw Zad, a remote market town in southern Afghanistan close to his home village and 300 miles south-west of Kabul, the capital.

    He said that the American soldiers taught him and his fellow child captives - aged 15 and 13 - to write and speak a little English. They supplied them with books in their native Pashto language. When the three boys left last week for Afghanistan, the soldiers looking after them gave them a send-off dinner and urged them to continue their studies.

    "They even took photographs of us all together before we left," he said. Mohammed, however, said he would have to disappoint his captors by not returning to his studies. "I am too poor for that. I will have to look for work," he said.
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    what did the adult inmates say about their own treatment? or do their words not count?
    The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that... he is gone.


      if they're having such a frolicking time i wonder why the bbc guy was kicked out for talking to one prison inmate for one minute?
      Din-e-Mullah fee sabeelillah fasad (Allama Iqbal)


        not only do we want to knw what the adult inmates felt BUT come on!! we're talking about 13-16 year old boys!!! held captive for 6 months to a year!!


          yes OG.. it's a Holiday Inn down there.. shame on anyone complaining a detention without any formal charges filed or a right to justice... all this does America so proud..
          JaddoN kaddya jaloos ghareeba tay shehr ich choatalee lug gayee


            Originally posted by amelie:
            not only do we want to knw what the adult inmates felt BUT come on!! we're talking about 13-16 year old boys!!! held captive for 6 months to a year!!
            Everything is sort of relative. Given the endemic and structurally ingrained acceptance of widespread pedophilia in
            Khandahar, one might reasonably argue that these 13-16 year old boy's were better off in "captivity" in Cuba than they would have been if experiencing "freedom" in Khandahar.

            In any case, it surely does not sound as if these boys will be used by America's detractors as examples of torture occuring in Gitmo.
            "I met the surgeon general - he offered me a cigarette. " --Rodney Dangerfield


              Originally posted by PakistaniAbroad:
              yes OG.. it's a Holiday Inn down there..


                sure mv.. given the endemic spousal abuse let's send all women from low income US households there too..
                JaddoN kaddya jaloos ghareeba tay shehr ich choatalee lug gayee


                  So, OG & MV bhaijans, when are you planning to take a trip down to the cells? I am sure they have a few free now to show you guys the hospitality.
                  I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
                  - Robert McCloskey


                    Funny thing,

                    I was on the phone with my frequent flyer plan and thinking about my next vacation. In a toss up between Khandahar, Karachi, and Guantanamo, I would feel safest in Guantanamo. Still checking into the cuisine.

                    The point is that the headlines screaming TORTURE in the tabloid press were grossly overstated.
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                      Im sure MV and OG would welcome being treated worse than animals by the US authorities in Guantanamo!!


                        Ah, the picture tells a thousand words propaganda.

                        Please research how prisoners are transported by every law enforcement service in the world. Visit any jail in pakistan and you will find prisoners in shackles during tranport. Plenty of pictures of hood being thrown over criminals in the Paksitan press.

                        If your intelligence is limited to hyper-emotional appeals based on photographs, that is indeed a pitiful thing.

                        Here is the real point. No doubt that people who were no threat to the US were scooped up on the battlefield. Hopefully those that are not dangerous are being released. There are still a great number from a huge variety of countries rounded up in Afghanistan? Are you naive enough to think that they were all innocent religious students?

                        Guantanamo is no Holiday Inn. Please let me know when we reach a peace accord with Al-Qaedda, and we will be happy to let them all go.
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                          OG bhaijaan, I disagree, GB is like Holiday Inn, and where else will you get free breakfast (lunch & dinner)?

                          May I suggest packing a few orange suits if you are serious about your vacation plans?

                          On a serious note, the detention center is illegal by all international laws. I hate it when people try to defend it by saying they are better off than being in caves of Kandhar. I would be much happier if someone would say "we have detained them because we can" ... and God I hope other countries don't follow the same illegal tactics!
                          I know that you believe that you understood what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.
                          - Robert McCloskey


                            OG, its so hilarious watching people trying miserably to defend the gross human rights violations of the Bush Administration. This is not about how prisoners are transported in other countries, this is about the NAZI style concentration camp being utilized by the US authorities in Guantanamo. The CAMP has been condemned by ALL Human Rights Organisations, by UN officials, by EU officials and by the International community. Yet the Bush Adminstration continues to grossly violate the human rights of hundreds of detainees treating them worse than animals.


                              Now, how about explaining to me what the people in Afghanistan were doing coming from all over the world. Please explain to me what humanitarian mission these people were on, and who it benefited the Afghan people.

                              When these people left their country without the backing of their governments, the became mercenaries, who are not protected by any Geneva convention.

                              Message: violent Jihadi's stay home.

                              Revealed: the nationalities of Guantanamo
                              By John C. K. Daly
                              International Correspondent
                              Published 2/4/2004 5:42 PM
                              View printer-friendly version

                              WASHINGTON, Feb. 4 (UPI) -- At least 160 of the 650 detainees acknowledged by the Pentagon being held at the United States military base at Guantanamo, Cuba -- almost a quarter of the total -- are from Saudi Arabia, a special UPI survey can reveal.

                              In UPI's groundbreaking and detailed breakdown of the nationalities of the detainees, some arrested far from the 2001 battlefield of Afghanistan, the other top nationalities being held are Yemen with 85, Pakistan with 82, Jordan and Egypt, each with 30.

                              Afghans are the fourth largest nationality with 80 detainees, according to the detailed UPI survey that has now for the first time established the homelands of 95 percent of the total number of prisoners.

                              One member of the Bahraini royal family is among those detained, according to his lawyer Najeeb al-Nauimi of Doha, Qatar, who was Qatar's 1995-97 justice minister and has power of attorney from the parents of about 70 prisoners.

                              The Pentagon's own list of nationalities detained at Guantanamo may be flawed. Yemeni officials have told UPI they fear more than twice as many of their citizens are held than the Pentagon count.

                              Suspected terrorists are detained by U.S. forces at a number of points around the world, including Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean and Bagram air force base outside Kabul. But Camp Delta, the U.S. detention facility in Guantanamo, has attracted the most media attention and international protest.

                              Camp Delta was built at a cost of $9.7 million by Brown and Root Services, a subsidiary of Haliburton by contract workers from India and the Philippines. Camp Delta replaces Camp X-Ray, the first improvised detention center constructed in January 2002 to house individuals detained in Afghanistan.

                              The Pentagon has kept a very tight lid on material about the detainees; only the identities of those who choose to correspond via the Red Cross are known. The Defense Department has repeatedly declined to provide a breakdown of the detainees by nationality.

                              Sources close to the Pentagon have admitted to UPI that "sensitive diplomatic considerations" were behind the decision to keep the nationalities secret.

                              The large number of Saudi nationals at Guantanamo, now it has been made public, is likely to intensify concern in the U.S. Congress about the real state of the U.S.-Saudi relationship.

                              A DoD spokesperson told UPI Wednesday "such a list exists, but it is classified."

                              Drawing on a wide range of sources, UPI has tentatively determined the nationalities of 619 of Camp Delta's inmates from 38 countries.

                              Until the U.S. government is more forthcoming with information, the figures below remain incomplete.

                              Complicating the issue is the sporadic release of a number of detainees; in the wake of last week's release of three teenagers, another 87 detainees have been transferred pending release. In addition, four detained Saudis have been transferred to continue their imprisonment in Saudi Arabia.

                              There is a rough correlation between nations subjected to terrorism and the number of their citizens incarcerated in Guantanamo. That Camp Delta currently holds 80 or more Afghans is hardly surprising, as most of the detainees were captured there. However, Camp Delta also holds seven Arab men handed over to U.S. authorities in Bosnia, as well as five individuals arrested in Malawi last summer.

                              The magnitude of the Saudi presence in Camp Delta raises troubling questions about their presence in Afghanistan and whether the U.S. forces succeeded in capturing more than a fraction of those who might have been there.

                              Emphasizing the global metastasizing of terrorism, among the 85 Yemenis is an individual arrested in Sarajevo.

                              Yahya Alshawkani, Yemeni Embassy deputy chief of communication in Washington told UPI that his embassy kept in close touch with the U.S. authorities -- but questioned the accuracy of the Pentagon's own count. His government cites domestic reports that more than twice as many Yemenis were held as the Pentagon has told the Yemeni government.

                              When queried if the number 85 was accurate, Alshawkani replied, "We have been communicated 37 names by United States authorities. I think it is more than 37. Domestic reports indicate more than 70."

                              Asked to comment on the discrepancy Alshawkani said: "We were communicated names that they were sure that they were Yemenis, adding, "Perhaps the U.S. only passed on names of people they could positively identify." Alshawkani remarked that Yemen had already had "some preliminary discussion" about the Yemeni detainees; furthermore, "We were told some Yemenis would be released, but we are not sure how many."

                              Jordan, a close ally of the U.S. in its war on terror, has 30 of its citizens detained in Camp Delta, as does Egypt. Jordan has worked closely with the U.S. in the initial processing of prisoners, providing both interrogators and interpreters.

                              Morocco, site of an al-Qaida attack on a synagogue in April 2002 that killed 21 people, has 18 of its nationals in Guantanamo. Algeria, currently in the throes of a violent conflict between Islamists and the government, has 19 prisoners in Camp Delta, six of whom were arrested in Sarajevo.

                              Kuwait, liberated from Saddam Hussein by Operation Desert Storm in 1991 has 12 citizens in Guantanamo; the Kuwaiti government insists that all of its citizen were involved in charity and relief work. China also has at least 12 its citizens in Guantanamo, although they are all identified as ethnic Uighurs rather than Han Chinese. Next on the list are Tajikistan and Turkey with 11 citizens each. Tajikistan fought a bloody civil war in the aftermath of the collapse of communism in 1991 and fundamentalists maintain a strong presence there. Turkey last November was subjected to al-Qaida bombing attacks in Istanbul, which killed 62 people.

                              Nine British citizens of Muslim background are in Guantanamo; they have proven to be a political liability for Prime Minister Tony Blair, as calls have been made in Parliament for their repatriation.

                              Both Tunisia and Russia have eight of their nationals at Camp Delta; a Russian embassy spokesman was careful to point out however that the eight Russian citizens are not ethnic Russians. Rustam Akmerov, Ravil Gumarov, Timur Ishmuradov, Shamil Khadzhiev (originally identified as Almaz Sharipov), Rasul Kudaev, Ravil Mingazov, Ruslan Odigov and Airat Vakhitov are members of Russia's Muslim community. The Russian embassy nonetheless is quietly pursuing negotiations with Washington to extradite its citizens.

                              France and Bahrain both have seven each of their nationals at Gauntanamo. Highlighting the problems of identification, France only recently discovered its seventh national at Camp Delta. The Bahraini detainees include a member of the royal family.

                              Kazakhstan has been quietly lobbying Washington for the return of its citizens, as have Australia (2) and Canada (2.) Australian David Hicks is one of the most high profile prisoners in Camp Delta; a convert to Islam, Hicks fought as a jihadi in the Balkans before shipping out to Afghanistan.

                              There are reportedly at least two Chechens, two Uzbeks and two Syrians in Camp Delta. The Syrian detainees especially interest U.S. intelligence, as one of the four workers at Camp Delta under investigation for possibly aiding the prisoners, Air Force translator Senior Airman Ahmad al-Halabi is accused of trying to pass messages from the prisoners to Syria. There are also two Georgian and two Sudanese nationals in Guantanamo.

                              Bangladesh, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Iraq, Kenya, Libya, Mauritania, Qatar, Spain and Sweden all have a single citizen in Camp Delta.

                              The UPI survey was conducted by painstaking compilation and analysis of the press and media reports from countries all around the world along with interviews with foreign government officials and concludes that nationalities of 38 separate countries are represented in the U.S. military detention center.

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