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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 March, 2004, 13:36 GMT
Guantanamo Briton warned by dad
Lloyd Fiddler
Lloyd Fiddler heard of his son's arrest on the radio
The father of one of the freed Guantanamo Britons warned him not to go to a Muslim country, it has been revealed.

Lloyd Fiddler, whose son Jamal Udeen was released without charge after returning to the UK from Cuba on Tuesday, told the BBC's Panorama programme that he asked his son not to travel so soon after September 11.

He said: "After September 11th I said to him 'if you are going to travel abroad, don't go now, wait until when everything cool down'."

The website designer from Manchester, was taken to Guantanamo Bay after the Afghanistan war.

He had left the UK to travel to Pakistan at the end of September 2001, and says he was trying to get a lift out of Pakistan towards Iran when he was cornered by Afghan tribesmen and handed over to the Taleban.

Broke down

I screamed and I screamed down the phone because I was very, very, very, very, happy
Sharon Fiddler

Jamal, who changed his name from Ronnie Fiddler after converting to Islam in his 20s, was then imprisoned by the Taleban, accused of being a spy.

But after the regime collapsed, the prison was taken over by US Special Forces and Jamal was arrested on suspicion of fighting for the Taleban in Afghanistan.

The first his father heard of the detention was on the radio.

He told Panorama: "I heard it on the radio first. I heard it on the radio and then I saw it on the television, and the radio said he's the fifth British that got taken away to Guantanamo Bay. I break down and cry when I heard that."

Jamal's story about being arrested is back up by Craig Smith, a New York Times journalist, who found the Briton in a Taleban prison after the war.

Over the moon

Jamal Udeen
Jamal Udeen has been released without charge
He said: "I walked into the compound and there were five guys scattered around and Jamal was shirtless in one corner of the yard lifting weights.

"He was angry and frustrated that he was still in prison a month after the Taleban had fallen."

His sister also spoke to the programme to explain the emotions she went through when she heard that Jamal was being released.

Sharon Fiddler described the emotional scenes in February when she heard he was among five British detainees being released from Guantanamo Bay.

She said: "I screamed. I screamed and I screamed down the phone because I was very, very, very, very, happy, to hear the news that I'd been waiting to hear for a long time.

"The first person I called was my father and he was over the moon and he said, 'thank the Lord', and then I phoned my sister and she was like, 'no, I don't believe it', and then, obviously, we both started screaming down the phone."



SEE ALSO:
Out of Guantanamo
10 Mar 04  |  Panorama
Your comments
10 Mar 04  |  Panorama


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