Home from Guantanamo

Al Jazeera speaks to a man who spent more than four years in the detention centre.

    Abdulaziz al-Shammari is back home in Kuwait after
    being released from Guantanamo
    Hundreds of men through the US military detention centre at Guantanamo Bay since the first 20 arrived five years ago.

    Al Jazeera travelled to Kuwait to meet Abdulaziz al-Shammari who was held in the at the facility for more than four years.

    Al-Shammari left his home looking for a school where he could study religion and one month after the September 11 attacks his journey took him to Pakistan. There he was arrested and sent to Kandahar prison in Afghanistan where he says he was tortured.

    "They used all types of torture during interrogation, like electricity which I was tortured with, and beatings. They also applied pressure to sensitive and painful parts of the body."

    After that he was transferred to Guantanamo, where he claims detainees were abused and sexually humiliated by some guards.

    "Sometimes she'd where revealing clothes. Sometimes she would get naked and sometimes she woud touch us," he said.

    "They'd take detainees to interrogation rooms and tie them to the floor or the roof for up to 36 hours. You couldn't lean back, forwards, right or left."

    "Death would be better because really if you are innocent and you've been treated like this I expect a man would not accept this life - no matter how much it would cost him," he finished.

    'Falling apart'

    Khalid al-Odah worked to help free al-Shammari but his main interest in Guantanamo is more personal - his son Fouzi is still being held by the US military.

    The al-Odah family leave an empty chair for
    Fouzi who is being held at Guantanamo
    "I'm falling apart. I'm tearing apart. I cannot tell you how I feel. Sometime I feel very angry, very sad, sometimes very disappointed," he told Al Jazeera.

    When the al-Odah family gathers for dinner they leave an empty chair for Fouzi. Khalid says it has difficult for all of them but especially for Fouzi's mother.

    "Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and I can't find her beside me in the bed. I would search for her and find her in Fouzi's room trying to sleep in his room and I ask he many times 'why are you doing that?' And finally she says we should keep this room warm, we should not abandon this room," he said.

    Fouzi's mother draws support from other women and whose sons and husbands are also in Guantanamo.

    "I ask every human being, every mother to feel what we are feeling about five years," she said.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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