Sep 14, 2008

"I kept telling them they had got the wrong person"

"Haji Ghalib, a tribal elder from eastern Nangahar province released late last year, claimed he was falsely denounced after closing down a drugs bazaar when he was police chief in a rough district near Jalalabad. 'It was a ridiculous accusation, but the Americans believed it. They beat me, gave me no food and interrogated me by strapping me to a wooden plank and pushing my head into water. I kept telling them they had got the wrong person,' he said. Independent sources confirm that Ghalib, a former fighter against the Russians, had fought against the Taliban in previous years and was allied with an anti-Taliban warlord. 'I spent four years in Guantánamo without any evidence of any guilt at all because I am innocent,' he said in Kabul. 'But I am not angry at the Americans because they were the victims of bad information. But I would like the money and vehicles they took from me. I am in a very difficult situation now, and I am worried about the people who accused me, because they could do it again.'" — One of the freed Gauntanamo detainees, interviewed in The Observer today

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