Sunday, August 7, 2022

Afghan released from Guantanamo after 15 years

ISLAMABAD ( Associated Press) – The Taliban government and an international human rights group said on Friday that an Afghan man who spent nearly 15 years in a US prison at the Guantanamo Naval Base has finally been freed.

Afghan Deputy Information Minister Zabihullah Mujahid tweeted announcing the release of Asadullah Haroon Gul, saying he was one of the last two Afghan prisoners held at the base.

The United States opened the detention center in January 2002, during the presidency of George W. Bush, in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks and the invasion of Afghanistan the previous year. Its purpose was to detain and interrogate prisoners suspected of having links with al Qaeda or the Taliban. Later many suspects from different countries were sent there. The detention center gained a tragic fame because of its condemnation of the humiliation and torture inflicted on the prisoners.

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Mujahid said that Gul was handed over to the Taliban government as a result of talks with US officials. “As a result of the efforts of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and its direct and positive dialogue with the United States, one of the last remaining detainees, Asadullah Harron, has been released from the Guantanamo prison,” he said on Twitter.

In some photos released by Mujahid, Gul smiles as she is greeted by Suhail Shaheen, a senior Taliban official in Doha, Qatar.

The Mujahid did not give details of Gul’s whereabouts.

Shaheen told The Associated Press that Gul was handed over to Taliban representatives in Doha “after direct contact with the Islamic Emirate”. He said that Gul would soon fly to Kabul, adding that Gul was detained by US forces in Jalalabad in 2007 and held for 15 years without trial.

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UK-based human rights group Repriv said Gul was released without charge. “His family feared he was dead, and for the first nine years of his imprisonment, despite several attempts to obtain legal representation, he did not have access to a lawyer,” the group said in a statement.

Nation World News Desk
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