Former Egyptian Guantanamo detainee El-Gazar returns home

Ahram Online, Monday 13 Jun 2011

Detained in Afghanistan following an American airstrike in the wake of September 11, Adel El-Gazar lands in Cairo

Guantanamo Bay
US President Barack Obama pledged to close Guantanamo Bay detention camp, where ‎many detainees were brutally tortured over the past years

Adel El-Gazar, who was detained for many years in the infamous Guantanamo ‎Bay detention camp, finally arrived back in Egypt Monday.

He was arrested by US army forces in Afghanistan after the September 11 suicide ‎attacks on the World Trade Centre and Pentagon in 2001. ‎

El-Gazar travelled to Pakistan in 2000 to teach the Quran. After the US waged its war ‎against terrorism he voluntarily moved to Afghanistan to help the refugees through the Red ‎Crescent, according to media reports.

However, he was severely injured during an American airstrike on Afghanistan and was ‎later hospitalised in Pakistan for a month before being captured by US military ‎forces. ‎

El-Gazar was transferred to an Afghani-based US prison even before fully recovering. Eleven days later he was taken to Guantanamo Bay.‎

Allegedly, El-Gazar was tortured on a daily basis, suffering from ‎periodic beatings, being hung by his wrists from the ceiling and sleep deprivation.‎

Furthermore, lack of medical attention caused his leg to become gangrenous and had to be surgically amputated.‎

In 2010, El-Gazar was released from Guantanamo only to be transferred to another ‎facility in Slovakia, where he spent another six months.‎ He was freed after going on a hunger strike in protest over his detention in Slovakia, ‎which was widely rebuked as illegal. ‎

El-Gazar, who was sentenced in absentia to three years in jail by a military court after ‎being found guilty of being a member of the underground terrorist group El-Waad, came to ‎Egypt straight from the central European country.‎

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