LONDON (AA) – A British citizen who was kept in custody and tortured at the infamous Guantanamo Bay detention center has dedicated his life to rehabilitation of other detainees and protection of their rights after his release.
Moazzam Begg was kept in the Guantanamo Bay detention center by the US government for two years in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks in the US in 2001.
Speaking to Anadolu on the occasion of the 21st anniversary of the opening of the prison located in Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay, Begg said he moved to Afghanistan with his family in 2001 to work for a school building project.
In 2002, his family and he went to Pakistan, the home country of his wife. Begg said he was taken from his home the same year by the Pakistani intelligence and CIA agents in front of the eyes of his wife and children.
He was first kept in a prison in Pakistan and later sent to a US-controlled Kandahar prison in Afghanistan. Begg was transferred to the Bagram prison in the landlocked Asian county before he was taken to Guantanamo where he was kept for two years.
“I was held for a total of three years without charge or trial, mostly in solitary confinement,” the ex-prisoner said, adding that he was also tortured during his prison term.
“I witnessed murder of two prisoners by American soldiers, I was subjected to the sounds of screaming women, which they led me to believe that my wife was being tortured in the next cell.”
He was never charged and released in 2005. Begg is the author of “Enemy Combatant: The Terrifying True Story of a Briton in Guantanamo” and “Enemy Combatant: A British Muslim’s Journey to Guantanamo and Back.”
“(After my release) I came home to see a family that included a child, who was three years old that I had never seen before, who is my son,” he said.
Since 2005, he has been seeking justice for Guantanamo prisoners as a member of CAGE, a London-based advocacy organization, of which he is one of the directors.
CAGE aims to raise awareness about the plight of the detainees held as part of the “global war on terror” initiated by the US after the 9/11 terror attacks.
“I seek justice for prisoners (who are) still there. I am involved in helping rehabilitate some of the prisoners who’d gone home after in some cases 20 years without charge or trial,” he said, adding that there are still 35 prisoners who are in custody without indictment at the detention camp.