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Released al-Jazeera journalist describes Guantanamo "most heinous"

The US-run Guantanamo Bay detention camp is the worst prison ever, Sudanese al-Jazeera journalist Sami al-Haj who was released from the prison days ago said Monday, according to a Xinhua report.

In a speech broadcast live on Sudanese television, ai-Haj, who returned to Sudan on Friday, said he spent 2,340 days in the "most heinous prison mankind has ever known," and that jailers there insulted Islam before prisoners.

Al-Haj, the only journalist from a major international news organization held in Guantanamo, believed he was arrested because Al-Jazeera was reporting on U.S. rights violations in Afghanistan.

"I was subjected to 130 (interrogation) sessions, more than 35 about the al-Jazeera and they wanted me to be a spy against al-Jazeera," he said. Al-Haj said the Sudanese people's reception made him "forget the long bitter years that we spent in humiliation, injustice and subjugation and oppression".

Al-Haj met visitors, among them Sudanese President Omer al-Bashir, in hospital on Monday and will spend the next few days undergoing medical cares.

Al-Haj was detained in December 2001 by Pakistani troops as he tried to enter Afghanistan to cover the U.S.-led invasion and was transferred to the U.S. military and taken to Guantanamo in January 2002.

The controversial Guantanamo Bay detention camp was established after Sept. 11 attacks to keep suspects arrested in Afghanistan and other countries.

The United States is still holding some 275 men suspected of links to al-Qaida and the Taliban, mostly without charges.

Date posted: May 6, 2008 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 552