Mahmoud Al Mujahid

If one has ever stretched the truth, especially when there is danger, maybe not even the danger of more torture and death but just danger of losing face, one can sympathize with Mahmoud al-Mujahid.

It appears that he told US authorities when he was first sold into US custody in Pakistan that he had been inspired by a sheik with whom he studied, I presume in his native Yemen, to go to Afghanistan to teach the Quran.  He changed his story at one of the review boards, a part of the kangaroo court system for these prisoners at Guantanamo, in November 2007.  You can read a document about that here.

In that hearing he said he had come to Afghanistan in July of 2000, though not at as he had said inspired by a sheik to teach the Quran. He said that this misleading statement of his had been on his conscience for years.  He denied categorically, however, knowing anything whatever about the attacks on the US or indeed about any terrorist activities.

The US has alleged that he was bin Laden’s body guard, which he denies as ridiculous.  The US, for its part, presents no evidence whatever to support this allegation. or any of the allegations of Mujahid’s having “been seen” with bin Laden in various places.  You can read Andy Worthington’s account here.

These prisoners are presumed guilty and it is not considered necessary to present credible evidence against them.  This presumption of guilt leads to lies, even “white lies” such as Mahmoud made.  Adding torture to the mix means that, as the law of the US and accepted international law dictate, anything said under torture is worthless in a court of law.  Such injustice is done with US taxpayers’ money and in the name of the country.  Let us work to stop such gross injustice and to free Mahmoud al-Mujahid.

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