His name is Saad Iqbal Madni and he is 33 years old. As an Islamic scholar, he was employed to read the Koran during prayer times and religious holidays for the Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation. He was one of the countless Pakistani and/or Afghan people at the wrong place at the wrong time. He was picked up by Indonesian authorities in 2002 acting on behalf of the USA on rumors that he had told someone he knew how to make a bomb.
Despite lack of evidence against Madni, the CIA had him transferred to Egypt for further questioning. This is what is called extraordinary rendition, with the understanding that the detainee is going to be tortured in order to extract a confession from him. Madni is a linguist and was able to detect the Egyptian Arabic with which he was being interrogated. His three months there left with a perforated ear drum, and scars from the electric shocks he received.
From Egypt, he was flown to Diego Garcia in a wooden box, a British territory in the Pacific used by the United States. His body was folded in half so he could fit into the box, and he was diapered as they didn’t allow him to go to the bathroom. From there, he continued on to Bagram airbase prison in Afghanistan where the Americans took him over.
When he arrived, he was told by a military intelligence man called ‘Ron’ that it was a mistake, but that despite the mistake, Saad was not going to be released. Rather, he was told, he was going to be transferred to Guantanamo Bay Prison, from which he would gain his release. That transfer took a year, during which he was tortured and denied visits from the IRC (International Red Cross).
On March 23rd, 2003, Madni arrived in Guantanamo Bay where he spent six years of his life. He describes in the video what was done to him for the duration. For six months, he was not allowed to sleep. For another six months, he was kept in his underwear in a refrigeration unit. He lost his hearing.
Madni attempted suicide after 192 days at Guantanamo. When that failed, he went on a hunger strike for a year and a half. They would not attend to his medical needs until he’d confess that he knew Osama bin Laden.
‘There are a lot of times I start to cry. I still feel like I am in Guantanamo. I have memorized the torture. I wake up in the middle of the night screaming’
Madni was released from Guantanamo Bay Prison without any explanation and without being charged. He is undergoing physical and mental treatment in his native Pakistan where he is under ‘house arrest’. His physician, Mohammed Burki, told NBC News, who had to obtain special permission to interview Madni, that his patient suffers from a ‘catalogue of ailments, including migraines, paranoia, depression, panic attacks and temper tantrums.’ He is addicted to morphine.
Please watch the accompanying video for Mr. Madni’s story.