Published on Google.com, hostednews, June 9, 2009.
WASHINGTON (AFP) — Former Guantanamo detainee Lakhdar Boumediene, accused of plotting to blow up the US and British embassies in Sarajevo, said he was never once questioned about the alleged plot in his more than seven years in the US military prison camp.
Boumediene, whose prison ordeal ended last month with his release in France after two and a half years on hunger strike, said in an interview broadcast Monday on ABC that he was tortured by interrogators determined to link him to Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
“I’m a normal man,” he told ABC News. “I am not a terrorist” …
… After he went on a hunger strike, he said guards would push a feeding tube up his nose and poke the hypodermic needle in the wrong part of his arm, according to ABC News, which posted an account of the interview on its website.
Indicating the scars he bears from the shackles, he said, “You think that’s not torture? What’s this? What can you call this? Torture or what?”
“I’m an animal? I’m not a human?”
His situation began to change June 12, 2008 after a 5-4 US Supreme Court ruling in the case of Boumediene v Bush, which found that Guantanamo detainees had the right to challenge their detention in court.
In November, US District Court Judge Richard Leon ruled that the evidence against Boumediene was a “thin reed,” and ordered his release.
Despite his long hunger strike, Boumediene said he never wanted to die in Guantanamo.
“Every day, I think about my wife and my daughters,” he said.
Reunited with them in Paris May 15, he said, “I cried, just cried. Because I don’t know my daughters.
“The younger, when I moved from Bosnia to Gitmo, she had 18 months, only 18 months. Now nine years. Now she’s big. Between 18 months, baby and nine years, she walking, she’s talking, she play, she’s joking. It’s a big difference.” (full text).