Sunday, March 4, 2007

In His Own Words: Moazzam Begg

I went to Afghanistan in the summer of 2001. We had planned, funded and supported a school in Kabul– a girl’s school. The program was to go to help, teach, expand and advance and to get some social value. I was also involved in digging some wells and a water project in a drought stricken region in NorthWestern Afghanistan.

[snip]

The school would take girls– my own daughter was to attend the school... the Taliban actually didn’t allow education of females by what they believed to be non-Moslem groups... But the Taliban didn’t stop us, they certainly knew what we were doing. There were quite a few Moslems doing humanitarian work and Moslem NGOs. There were also lots of non-Moslem organizations working in Afghanistan. Of course, after the American bombing, only Moslems were picked up... Like an Al Jazeera camera man [Sami Al Hajj] who had nothing remotely to do with terrorism. But it can certainly be said that a number of those detained by the Americans were doing humanitarian work.

[snip]

I will never forget what transpired in Bagram... this is the base that was bombed just the day before yesterday.. I was held there for a year. I was hog-tied– left in painful positions or hours, interrogated, kicked, beaten,... but I remember the screaming of a woman in the next cell, and I was led to believe that she was my wife.

I witnessed the deaths (or the beatings that led to the deaths) of two detainees at Bagram... this will never go away.

I met a number of former Irish prisoners... they were interned for years without trial, held in hoods, subjected to white noise– the commonality of their experience with mine was remarkable... just replace Northern Ireland with Guantanamo and it was almost virtually the same.
From an interview at the talking dog.

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