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article imageFreed 'Guantanamo Diary' author forgives US jailers

By AFP     Oct 22, 2016 in World

A former Guantanamo Bay detainee from Mauritania who wrote a best-selling book about his experiences said Saturday he forgives those who tortured and detained him without trial for 14 years.

Mohamedou Ould Slahi arrived home in west Africa on October 17, bringing the prison's remaining population down to 60 as the United States accelerates releases from the facility.

Slahi's "Guantanamo Diary", an account of the abuse he suffered and the lack of due process, made him famous, but speaking at a press conference with his lawyers he said: "I forgive everyone for the ill-treatment and injustice that I have suffered."

After reciting a Koranic verse about forgiveness, Slahi added he hoped that "the whole world can live from now on in peace," thanking those who helped secure his release from Guantanamo.

His lawyer Brahim Ould Ebetty said Slahi had instructed him not to bring a case against the United States or Mauritania, who handed him over to the Americans in 2001.

Ebetty said his client's account of his time in Guantanamo "pricked the conscience of the whole world and laid bare the terrible suffering of prisoners".

He would require medical monitoring for the next decade following the physical suffering he endured in Guantanamo, his doctor added.

In his book, Slahi described life inside the US base, saying: "I started to hallucinate and hear voices as clear as crystal. I heard my family in a casual familial conversation... I heard Koran readings in a heavenly voice."

He added: "I was on the edge of losing my mind."

Following the September 11 attacks on the United States, Slahi came under suspicion of involvement in an unsuccessful plot to bomb Los Angeles in 1999.

He was taken to Guantanamo in August 2002 following interrogations in Jordan and Afghanistan.

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