Sun, Dec 24, 2006 - Page 5 News List

Ex-Guantanamo detainee held by Bangladesh police

AFP , DHAKA

A Bangladeshi man repatriated after spending five years at the US "War on Terror" prison camp in Guantanamo Bay has been detained for a month for "anti-state activities," police said yesterday.

Mubarak Hussain Bin Abul Hashem, 32, was flown to Dhaka on a special flight by US officials last weekend and handed over to local law enforcement officials for further questioning.

"A magistrate of a special court has given him one month detention late Friday for suspected anti-state activities," a police officer said on condition of anonymity.

"During this time we will investigate whether he has any connection with international or local militant groups," he added.

Police said Mubarak had broken the law by overstaying a tourist visa in Pakistan.

"He went to Pakistan in late 1998 with a three-month tourist visa but overstayed there for more than two years before he was arrested by American intelligence officers," he added.

Bangladeshi police had said earlier that Mubarak was picked up in the Pakistani city of Peshawar in late 2001, and then handed over to the US military for questioning.

No evidence has been found connecting him to terrorist acts or plans.

Another Bangladeshi man is still being held at the US base in Cuba.

Mubarak went to Pakistan to study at Anwar-ul Ulum madrasah in Karachi, his father Abul Hashem, who is a chief cleric at a Dhaka mosque, has said.

Mubarak told police in Dhaka that he was innocent and also complained of being given a "hard time" at Guantanamo.

Abul Hashem said that his son's life had been "destroyed."

"My son is innocent. He is neither a Taliban, nor a militant. He is a victim of the American war on terror," the cleric said last week.

"Why did they arrest him? His life is finished. They destroyed his life for nothing. In the name of fighting terror, Americans are in fact fighting Muslims, like my son. I want justice. But where shall I get justice?" he asked.

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