Ex-Guantanamo inmate’s reunite with former guard

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Brandon Neely, Ruhal Ahmed andShafiq Rasul meet after eight years

TWO Tipton men who were held at the notorious Guantanamo Bay camp have beenreunited with a former prison guard.

Brandon Neely, a Guantanamo Bay guard usedFacebook to trace Ruhal Ahmed andShafiq Rasul.

The two men, along with another friend, were dubbed the ‘Tipton Three’ after theywere imprisoned in the camp for two years.

In an emotional reunion the three men came face-to-facefor the first time in eightyears after Neely flew into the UK to personallyapologise to the men.

Their reunion was filmed for the BBC and shown on Newsnight.

Having settled back into normal life, the reunion thrust Ruhal and Shafiq back into a world full of mistreatment and injustice.

The two men were detained by the Northern Alliance in northern Afghanistan on 28 November 2001 and sold to US forces before being sent to Guantanamo Bay as suspected terrorists.

It is there they met Neely, a Military Police Officer who worked as a guard at Camp X-Ray, who began to have doubts about the guilt of some of the prison inmates and the treatment they received.

In the documentary Neely is reunited with Ruhal Ahmed and Shafiq Rasul to personally apologise for his role in their imprisonment.

Neely, now a Texas police officer, says the six months he spent working as a guard in Cuba made him complicit in a great unjustice.

Neely says: “If you read the definition of torture it’s a very vague definition. Physical, mental, it can be anything. Well, to me, torture is taking an innocent man and locking him up in a cage for two-and-a-half years. So if that’s how they do it, then everyone who has ever set foot in Guantanamo should be held responsible for torture, including myself.”

Neely goes on to be openly critical of the US authorities and the use of “torture” techniques by interrogators at the prison.

His two former prisoners, from Tipton in the West Midlands, said they were deeply moved by his visit, which they say supported their allegations that detainees were mistreated.

“When people like yourself come out and basically say the same things that we were saying, it helped us so much for people to believe what we were saying was true,” Shafiq Rasul, 32, told Brandon. “So I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart what you’ve done.”

Ruhal Ahmed, 28, said: “It takes a lot of courage to say that ‘I was wrong’. A lot of courage.”

The meeting between the three men will be broadcast on BBC Radio 5 Live on Thursday 14 January at 10.00pm.

The extraordinary reunion can also be seen on BBC World News America. Find out more at www.news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/world_news_america

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