"Every year students go to Pakistan for religious studies. In the fall of 2001 some 80 students visited Afghanistan. They were all detained. One was in a shop, one was in a library, one was a photographer from Jordan, one was there to get married when they were seized and flown to Guantanamo Bay, chained and blindfolded. Most of the prisoners at Guantanamo had no contact with the Talibans or al-Qaida. They were just ordinary normal people. Many of them were kidnapped and sold to the United States.
Najeeb al-Nauimi, lawyer and former minister of justice in Qatar, at a meeting in Stockholm, December 18, 2003.

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Fnge p Guantnamo
Mehdi Ghezali berttar

Gsta Hultn, Leopard frlag 2005

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World News Network

Human Rights Watch

Hard Rain    No 19    October 5, 2006
A Swede at Guantanamo Bay
Mistakes by the ministry of foreign affairs contributed to the fact that Mehdi Ghezali, a Swedish citizen, had to spend two years and a half ??? under torture and degradation ??? at a US naval base at Guantanamo Bay. When comes the official apology
The fate of young Mehdi Ghezali is rather well known by now. Ghezali is one of many victims of the wars in Afghanistan. In the book "Fnge p Guantnamo" (Prisoner at Guantanamo) he tells his story to the journalist and writer Gsta Hultn. It is a comprehensive document, thought provoking and shocking. Read the book!

Hard Rain has looked into one of many curious aspects. Government responsibility for Swedish citizens abroad is a hot topic after the Tsunami catastrophe and the war in Lebanon. It stands to reason that this responsibility should also include citizens traveling alone, but nobody was interested in young Mehdi Ghezali.

Already in December 2001 the Swedish embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, knew that Ghezali was imprisoned in the country. It must be some kind of malpractice by Swedish officials not to follow up information and pay a visit to Ghezali in Peshawar just a few hours ride from the embassy. But of course, Christmas holidays were close at hand.
  The Ministry of foreign affairs lost quite a few occasions to intervene in the ongoing process before the awful transportation to Guantanamo bay took place. Ghezali kept telling the Pakistanis, the Red Cross and the American military that he wanted to contact the Swedish embassy, but nothing happened until it was too late.

Being a little careful with opinions about the official handling of the case, one might keep to foreign minister Anna Linds laconic answer to Ghezalis father in April 2003: Yes, we made mistakes from the beginning.

These mistakes contributed to the fact that Mehdi Ghezali had to spend two years and a half under torture and degradation at a US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He was released on July 8, 2004, and in October the same year he was granted legal aid in order to prepare a process against the United States for the unlawful detention and the torture. The Swedish government must give Mehdi Ghezali all the support he needs to be successful in this process.