Monday, December 07, 2009


Picked up by the SAS, then handed over

According to the lunar Muslim calendar, 2004's new year - the beginning of the month of Muharram - fell on February 22. Amanatullah Ali, a rice merchant from the village of Ghabyanwal in Pakistan's Punjab, was coming to the end of a business trip to Iran. He crossed the border in Iraq - a pilgrimage considered especially auspicious during Muharram. While he was on his way there, in or around Baghdad, he was picked up by the SAS, then handed over to the Americans and flown to Bagram which has 650 detainees. On three occasions since he was detained, the Red Cross has helped Amanatullah to speak to his family by telephone,
'He wasn't captured by Americans,' Abdul Razzaq says, 'but by British. It was the British who took him.'

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