Guantanamo prisoner bids for freedom
22 March 2004
CEUTA – The Spanish prisoner who was held in Guantánamo Bay is to make a bid for bail, his lawyer announced Monday.
Hamed Abderrahaman Ahmed, 29, was extradited to Spain from the US prison in Cuba last month after a deal struck between Madrid and Washington.
He was detained indefinitely in Spain when he arrived back in the country.
Ahmed, who is from Ceuta, in north Africa, was arrested in Afghanistan and held in the controversial US detention centre.
He has denied any links with the al-Qaeda terror network.
His lawyer, Marcos García Montes, has asked High Court judge Baltasar Garzón to grant Ahmed bail.
Garzón ordered Ahmed’s detention in jail pending charges when he arrived in Spain.
Ahmed’s family has denied that he had any connection with the terrorists behind the 11 September atrocity in the United States.
When he was extradited to Spain from Guantanamo Bay, Ahmed said he had “escaped the hell”.
In an interview with a Spanish radio station last month, Ahmed said: “(US) soldiers, upon detaining me, stepped on my head as I lay face down on the ground; we were stepped on and tied with a thin string that made us bleed.”
The prisoner condemned the 11 September attacks and denounced “terrorism and the killing of women and children.”
“I have nothing to do with Al Qaeda and have denounced their actions,” he said.
Since his arrival in Spain last week, Ahmed said: “Everything is better, I have left hell.”
He denied being crazy or traumatised by the Guantanamo experience, but admitted he is “scared”.
The detainee went on to describe daily life during the two years and three months he spent at the base.
“At first, I was kept in a cell that measured two metres by two metres (6 feet by 6 feet), with a metal roof; the heat was unbearable, and they played very loud American patriotic music all day long,” he said.
“They would wake us up at five-thirty, and we began to pray. We had breakfast at eight and then I would read the Koran for a long time. We showered only twice a week, we were led out blindfolded and gagged, our ears covered and our hands and feet bound.”
The prisoner said he does not resent or hate anyone, and that he “has the utmost respect for Judge Garzon.”
He said he and some friends formed a fundamentalist Islamic cell in Spain and later went to Afghanistan, where he joined the Taliban and was eventually arrested.
But Garzon maintained that Spanish police who questioned Ahmed in Guantanamo established his “direct” ties to recruiting organisations presumably linked to al-Qaeda.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news