I was abused by the US in Afghanistan and am still detained in Guantanamo Bay – the ICC are right to hold them to account

if the United States will not allow its own people to be subject to the rule of law in such cases, how can others be held to account?

Ahmed Rabbani

Friday 6 March 2020 12:00

I have become rather used to being kicked in the stomach. Suddenly, the kicking has stopped. Yesterday, I learnt that the International Criminal Court (ICC) has agreed to investigate war crimes committed in Afghanistan, by United States forces. My American tormentors in the “dark prison” in Kabul, believed they had impunity to do whatever they wanted to me. Now there is a possibility that they may be held to account. Indeed, it is an historic moment: US torturers may face international justice for the first time.

I was one of a hundred people who filed the complaint, though the only one from Guantánamo Bay willing to be named in public. I understand why others wish to remain anonymous, but I have no fear of reprisals – what could they do to me, that they have not already done?

The Americans paid a bounty to Pakistanis for me, after they were told I was a notorious terrorist, Hassan Ghul. They flew me in shackles from Karachi to the “dark prison” in Kabul, and abused me in unspeakable ways for 540 days and nights. Astoundingly, they later captured the real Hassan Ghul, but then let him go whilst I, the innocent taxi driver, got rendered to Guantánamo, where I remain 17 years later. There’s no disputing the facts: the US Senate confirmed my mistreatment in their 2014 Senate report on CIA torture.

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