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Innocent Afghan wants US compensation for Guantanamo detention

Xinhuanet 2003-03-26 19:38:26

¡¡¡¡KABUL, March 26 (Xinhuanet) -- A 25-year-old Afghan man who was proved innocent after over one year of detention in an American military base at Guantanamo Bay said he would seek compensation from the US government.

¡¡¡¡Saeed Abbasin, one of the 18 Afghans recently released by the US authorities, said on Wednesday here that he hopes Americans could pay for his missing taxicab and the time he fiddled in US military custody at the Cuban island.

¡¡¡¡He was taxiing two passengers from Kabul to southeast Afghanistan's Khost province when he was arrested by local security forces one year ago, said Abbasin, a taxi driver of Khostprovince before his detention.

¡¡¡¡The Afghan government on Wednesday officially set free the former Guantanamo prisoners handed over by the US authorities fourdays ago.

¡¡¡¡They were released from Guantanamo because investigations by Americans proved their innocence, Afghan officials said.

¡¡¡¡"It was a nightmare for me," Abbasin said, "I lost everything, my car, my work and my status in the society."

¡¡¡¡"I have no relations with the Taliban, I even hate them, I don't know for what reason I was kept in prison for so long time," he told Xinhua after receiving a certificate of innocence from the Afghan Interior Ministry.

¡¡¡¡Abbasin said one of his friends detained after his arrest was still held in the Guantanamo prison.

¡¡¡¡"He is innocent too," he added.

¡¡¡¡Abbasin described his treatment by the US prison authorities as"nice," but stopped short of telling details about the four interrogations he undertook in the prison.

¡¡¡¡The ex-prisoners, most of them from southern provinces of the country, will soon go home after receiving a minimum assistance for transportation from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) office here, an ICRC spokesman said.

¡¡¡¡About 680 Afghans had been so far transferred to the Guantanamoprison for further interrogations after they were arrested by US forces in Afghanistan for possible links with the al-Qaeda terrorist network and its Taliban ally.

¡¡¡¡Earlier in October, three Afghan prisoners, two of them in their eighties, were released from Guantanamo. Enditem

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