Wednesday, March 26
18 Ex-Guantánamo Captives Suddenly Out on Kabul Street
Carlotta Gall, New York Times, March 26, 2003
KABUL, Afghanistan, March 25 — Eighteen Afghans who were returned from the American detention center at Guantánamo Bay were freed today by the Afghan authorities and suddenly found themselves, shaken and tired, on the streets of Kabul.
The men are the largest group to be released from Guantánamo since the center was set up more than a year ago. Wearing new clothes provided by the American authorities, they stood at the Kabul prison gates, worrying about where to spend the night and how to get home. [...]Many prisoners were careful not to criticize the American authorities, showing a continued nervousness about their status in Afghanistan. "I think things should remain secret," said Abbasin, a student from Kabul, standing outside his home with his father and young brother. "It is too early to speak of conditions."
He and others questioned said they did not know of any suicide attempts in the detention facility, although American military officials have acknowledged that there have been a number. But the prisoners confirmed that the conditions were often hard to bear.
"There were three degrees of treatment; good, bad and the worst," said Murtaza, 28, a former Taliban fighter from the southern province of Helmand who spent two months in Shiberghan prison in northern Afghanistan and 10 months at Guantánamo.[...]