Wednesday, December 23, 2009

"Hell on Earth": Released Somali Speaks about Guantánamo

by Andy Worthington

Mohamed Saleban BareAFP secured an interview on Monday with Mohamed Saleban Bare (known to the Pentagon as Mohammed Sulaymon Barre), the Somali refugee, released from Guantánamo at the weekend with eleven other men (including another Somali, Ismail Mahmoud Muhammad), who ran a money transfer operation for the Somali diaspora in Karachi, Pakistan, until he was seized in a house raid on November 1, 2001. The organization he worked for was, in the eyes of the US authorities, involved with another money transfer company that had ties to the 9/11 hijackers, even though the 9/11 Commission concluded over five years that this was not the case.

Speaking to AFP reporter Mustafa Haji Abdinur in a hotel in Bare's home town of Hargeisa, the capital of the northern breakaway state of Somaliland, Bare declared, "Guantánamo Bay is like hell on Earth." He added, "I don't feel normal yet but I thank Allah for keeping me alive and free from the physical and mental sufferings of some of my friends. Some of my colleagues in the prison lost their sight, some lost their limbs and others ended up mentally disturbed. I'm OK compared to them."

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