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News > U.S.

Former Afghan Guantanamo Prisoner Calls for Compensation

  • The U.S. flag behind a wired fence, Guantanamo, 2023.

    The U.S. flag behind a wired fence, Guantanamo, 2023. | Photo: Xinhua

Published 30 August 2023

Mohammad Nasim has been suffering from psychological diseases since he was arrested by U.S. troops.

Living in a slum house in Chaparhar district in east Afghanistan's Nangarhar Province, Mohammad Nasim, a former Guantanamo prisoner, said that he has not lived a good life since his release from the notorious prison.


Guantanamo Features Most Flagrant Human Rights Violation

Nasim has been suffering from psychological diseases since he was arrested by U.S. troops and then apprehended in the infamous Guantanamo Bay detention camp for five years.

"Everything is out of order. My brain does not work when I sleep, or I jump, and my mental system is in disorder," he said in his mud dwelling recently, attired in tattered clothes.

Terming the U.S. claim for defending human rights as a joke, Nasim said that his being jailed without proof demonstrates the U.S. so-called defense of human rights a complete lie.

Nasim could not remember the exact date when his ordeal started. He recalled that the security forces of the erstwhile U.S.-backed regime arrested him in late 2001 or early 2002 and handed him over to the U.S. troops on the charge of having relations with the Taliban.

"About 60 security personnel surrounded my house and broke into the house. We were eating our dinner," said Nasim. "They tied my hands from back and arrested me in my home."

The soldiers also arrested his brother but set him free after hours. Nasim was not that lucky. He was sent to Jalalabad, the provincial capital of Nangarhar, and was kept there for six nights before being shifted to Bagram, a U.S. main military base, where Nasim was held for about four months.

Recalling his nightmare in Bagram, the former prisoner lamented that American soldiers, after receiving him from the helicopter, threw him away to the dogs arrogantly.

Nasim said that the soldiers would do interrogations several times at midnight, which ended up destroying his mentality.

"They wore a bag on my head, kicked me, pulled me down, hit my head to the wall, chained my hands, and pulled me down again. They hanged me for seven days and nights, and a soldier shocked me and said, 'No sleeping,'" he said, adding that he did not realize the real cruelties of life until he was shifted to Guantanamo.

The first thing that jumps into his mind when Nasim recollects his Guantanamo memories is the two-month confinement in a cell. "I spent two months in a room and could not see the sky and sun," he said.

"The Americans kept repeating words, such as 'you were with the Taliban, and you fought against Americans.' I told them they arrested me at home, not from the battleground," said Nasim.

Nasim soon realized that his defense was meaningless. "When we were sleeping, they washed us with water from the pipe and did not allow us to sleep at night. They threw away the Quran just to torture us. However, the worst torture was to keep us awake the whole time," he said.

In a block, 40 prisoners were held. At night whenever the patrolling soldier shifted, and another soldier came, who would take all the prisoners from one cell to another every 20 or 30 minutes just to keep them awake.

"They tied our hands, chained our feet, and took us from one room to another at night. Some even pleaded, 'Either kill us or let's live in our cell,'" he said, adding that many prisoners later got mad and kept shouting.

"Five years in jail is a long time. Let alone being tortured all the time," he said, recalling that a mad prisoner shouting and making noises in their cell.

"The Americans came, asked some questions like what the nightmare was, and then injected medicine, and the men fell asleep for four to five days. After recovery, he shouted again, but the Americans again made injections to the man," he said.

Some five years later, Nasim was released back to Afghanistan. He now feeds a 14-member family on a piece of farmland. The outcome of languishing in the U.S. military jail means nothing more than poverty to him and his family as a whole.

"The Americans shifted me there Guantanamo. I was jailed for five years, but no compensation, why? I am indebted and now work to return my owes. Do I have no right to ask for compensation? They are liars and deceiving the people," he said.

Commenting on the brutality of U.S. forces, Qurishi Badlon, the head of the information and culture department of Nangarhar province, said that the U.S. forces during the occupation of Afghanistan brutally dropped bombs in the province and even killed 30 civilians from one family, and there were also families losing 20 members in the attacks.

"The occupation of Afghanistan by America is part of our country's black history, and our people won't forget such oppression," Badlon said.

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