Speaking for the first time since his release from Guantánamo after seven years’ imprisonment without charge or trial, following a successful habeas corpus appeal in January, Mohammed El-Gharani, now a free man in Chad, told Mohamed Vall of al-Jazeera, in an exclusive interview, how he felt about being imprisoned from the age of 14 to the age of 21. “Seven of the most beautiful years of youth were lost in prison,” he said. “I couldn’t learn or work. Seven years were just lost — for nothing.” Recounting the torture he experienced, which I reported last April in my article, “Guantánamo’s forgotten child: the sad story of Mohammed El-Gharani,” Mohammed also revealed, for the first time, that the interrogators in Guantánamo tried to force him to spy on his fellow prisoners.
The interview, via YouTube, is available below:
Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK). To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed, and see here for my definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, published in March 2009.
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Hi Mr. Worthington,
I would not be surprised that the answer to why he was not held with the other juveniles, was the Americans were experimenting how long a youth could last. This story just looks like a page from the Gestapo conducting experiments on prisoners doing monstrous things to people for the sake of pseudo-science and sadism. Just a horrible horrible story. I just cannot believe the US are going to get away with this. No compensation to boot. Now he seems to be in a limbo situation in Chad. I really hope Chad will help him.
Mr. Worthington you are tireless. Just incredible the amount of work you do. You are an inspiration for all of us.
[…] Andy Worthington 6/27/09 […]
You know, an odd thing about the US military’s approach to Mohammed is that for a long time they actually thought that he was much older than he was.
I don’t think they had a specific desire to break juveniles, but I do know that they refused to implement plans prepared for them regarding the appropriate treatment of juvenile prisoners, as I reported here:
Writer, campaigner, investigative journalist and commentator. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo, co-director, We Stand With Shaker. Also, singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers) and photographer.
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