Reading Zaeef: 19. Graveyard of the Living
Reading Abdul Salam Zaeef: My Life with the Taliban:
Mullah Fazal was punished for forty-one days because he did not answer the questions during an interrogation. During the nights he remained chained up in the interrogation room with the air-conditioning unit on full blast. The soldiers made sure to keep him awake. During the day they forced him to walk around so he wouldn’t fall asleep. Visitors were always brought to Camp Four, and never saw the real Guantánamo, just a few metres away.
Many times the holy Qur’an was abused; the soldiers deliberately used it as a tool to punish us. More than once we collected all the Qur’ans and handed them back to the authorities because we could not protect them. But instead of taking them back, we were punished.
Prisoners are the weakest people in the world. A detainee in Guantánamo, however, is not even a person anymore. He is stripped of his humanity as each day passes.
At the beginning all questions were related to the current situation in Afghanistan, but later this changed completely. Questions were of a general nature or concerned with the country’s economy. Many questions were asked about natural resources or mines and their location. In particular I was asked many questions about oil, gas, chrome, mercury, gold, jade, ruby, iron and other precious stones. I was asked several times about uranium, even though I had previously not heard that there was any in Afghanistan. Often when I said that I did not know or when I had no information, I was punished and put into an isolation cage. There were countless questions about Islam, madrassas, religious institutions, famous scholars and religious conferences.
Several hunger strikes took place in the camp, and were ended only after receiving promises from the Americans, but the one that started at this time lasted until the day of my release on 11 September 2005. Each day the number of participants increased; several became extremely weak and were close to death, fainting in their cages and cells, and being taking to the hospital for treatment. They were forcefed intravenously, but even while in the hospital they still tried to prevent the doctors from feeding them. They could no longer tolerate what was being done to them and chose death over life.
The hospital was filled with starving patients. The doctors were so busy with the emergency cases that other patients had to wait to be treated. The doctor-in-charge refused to force-feed the prisoners, so five other doctors were brought. The problem continued until 19 January 2006.
Where now is the United Nations, which so readily supported sanctions against twenty million Afghans, while now thousands of Muslims are detained, clamouring for justice, law and human rights? And for what?
Posted by b on January 1, 2011 at 05:24 AM | Permalink
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