Wednesday, February 22, 2017
'Out Of Gitmo'
Last night, I saw PBS TV's Frontline program in which Arun Rath (previously with the NPR) discussed the life of a newly released prisoner (who was innocent) from the Gitmo to Serbia. It is an alien country for the Yemeni resident who is under surveillance by the Serbian security forces for no other reason except that he was a Gitmo prisoner before his release.
Arun writes, "I had come to Serbia to find out why transferring former Guantanamo inmates deemed ready to re-enter society was so difficult. And right away I got a sense of the problem. Moments after speaking with Dayfi for the first time, I was stopped by the police and questioned. Even though the Serbian government had agreed to give him a home, it still seemed uncomfortable with an accused terrorist living in its capital city.
The officials I spoke with, up to the prime minister, said the former detainee in Belgrade was adjusting well. But after our first interview, Dayfi disappeared. For two days he didn't answer his phone or his door. He then appeared at my hotel, looking terrified, with a fresh bruise on his head. He was certain he had been followed and that we were being watched in the hotel lobby, so we went to my room to talk.
He told me that the day after our first interview several Serbian men wearing masks had forced their way into his apartment, and pinned him to the floor. While the others searched his apartment, the man holding him down yelled at him, saying things like, "If you want to stay here, you have to keep your mouth shut. You are lying. You are playing games."
Dayfi said he felt humiliated, and he broke down as he told the story. "They told me basically just shut your mouth and I'm lying. 'If you don't stay in this place, we're going to take you someplace where you don't like,' " he said.
Today, 41 detainees remain at Guantanamo. Ten are scheduled to go on trial in military commissions, including the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. The rest are being held without charge. President Trump has vowed to stop releases."
You can read his entire piece, by clicking here.