Friday, July 31, 2009

Interview: Sami al-Hajj


"Sami al-Hajj, an Al Jazeera cameraman who was arrested by Pakistani forces on the border with Afghanistan in December 2001 while covering the US-led invasion, says his captors knew they were working with faulty intelligence information.

Al-Hajj was moved between Pakistani and Afghan detention centres before being flown out of the region and thrown into a grisly cell at the Guantanamo detention facility.

He said he spent six years and seven months at Guantanamo because of an "error" and has accused the administration of George Bush, the former US president, of continuing to incarcerate him despite knowing they had the wrong man.

Since his release, however, Al-Hajj says he is determined to use his plight to raise awareness of the conditions other inmates currently held at Guantanamo are facing and to pressure the US government for their release.

Al-Hajj and other released detainees are expected to launch the Guantanamo Justice Centre (GJC), a non-profit organisation headquartered in Geneva, which aims to peacefully resolve the plight of those who remain in US custody. A British branch will be opened at the end of July.

Al Jazeera's Ahmed Janabi met with al-Hajj on the eve of the GJC's launch.

Al Jazeera: Why were you arrested? ............."

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