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politics - 4 12 2003 - 11:30 - katatonik

Captured, seized, handed over, and such

“There is Shafiq Rasul from Tipton in the West Midlands, who took his wardrobe of designer clothes with him to Pakistan, was captured with his friends Asif Iqbal and Rhuhel Ahmed by the Northern Alliance, and was handed over to the US in Shebergan in northern Afghanistan in December 2001. Jamil al-Banna and Bisher al-Rawi, two refugees living in Britain, were arrested in the Gambia in west Africa and handed over to the US by the Gambians. Moazzam Begg and Richard Belmar, two other Britons, were arrested in Pakistan and handed over to the US by the Pakistanis. David Hicks, an Australian, who had previously led a life of shark fishing and kangaroo skinning, and had fathered two children, ended up in the Shebergan prison after fighting with the KLA in Albania and the Kashmiri insurgency group Lashkar-e-Taiba. Mehdi-Muhammed Ghezali, who grew up in the Swedish town of Rebro and whose father was Algerian and mother Finnish, had a promising career as a footballer ahead of him before turning up with the Taliban in Afghanistan and being captured. Nizar Sassi and Mourad Bechnellali grew up in Venissieux, a suburb of Lyons. Their lives came to revolve around the mosque on Lenin Boulevard before they travelled east. Ibrahim Fauzee, a citizen of the Maldives, was arrested in Karachi while staying in the home of a man with suspected al-Qaida links. Tarek Dergoul, from east London, thought to have been arrested during the battle for Tora Bora in southern Afghanistan, is reported to have had an arm amputated as a result of wounds. Sami al-Haj, a Sudanese assistant cameraman with the al-Jazeera TV station, was picked out and held while leaving Afghanistan for Pakistan after the fall of Kabul with the rest of his crew. They never saw him again. Another Briton, Martin Mubanga, from north London, was handed over to the US by Zambia. Jamal Udeen, from Manchester, born into a devout Catholic home, and converted to Islam in his 20s and was seized in Afghanistan only three weeks after he left England. Airat Vakhitov, one of eight Russians on Guantanamo, thought he had been liberated when a reporter from Le Monde discovered him in a Taliban jail, where he had sat in darkness and been beaten for seven months on suspicion of spying for the KGB. But he only exchanged the Taliban prison for an American one. And there is Mish al-Hahrbi, a Saudi schoolteacher. After he tried to kill himself on Guantanamo, he suffered severe and irreversible brain damage.”

People the law forgot: James Meek about prisoners kept in Guantanamo Bay.

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