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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 July, 2003, 10:12 GMT 11:12 UK
Ex-Guantanamo inmate to sue US
Mohammed Sagheer
Mr Sagheer is to sue the US government
A Pakistani man who was imprisoned by America at Guantanamo Bay is preparing to sue the US Government for $10.4m.

Mohammed Sagheer was released last November after 10 months in captivity alongside around 600 other inmates.

Now the 51-year-old's lawyer, Mohammed Ikram Chaudhry, has served legal notice to the US authorities and will sue if they do not respond within a month.

In an interview with the BBC World Service's World Today programme, Mr Chaudhry said that he believed his client's mental health had been affected during his captivity.

He said that they had arrived at the figure of $10.4m because of the "mental, physical and moral suffering" Mr Sagheer had undergone.

Sometime I did feel that he was a little mentally deranged and disturbed
Ikram Chaudhry
The money would also be compensation for the threat to life and loss of liberty he had suffered.

Mr Sagheer says he underwent periods of solitary confinement during his captivity and alleges he was served alcohol-laced drinks - contrary to his religion of Islam.

Asked about the impact of captivity on Mr Sagheer, Mr Chaudhry told the World Today: "He seems to be normal but the conditions he went through have definitely had a very deep impact on his health and on his condition as a whole.

"Sometime I did feel that he was a little mentally deranged and disturbed, of course ... there was an incoherence in his speech when he was telling me details of all those events he went through."

Preaching mission

Mr Sagheer, who is from the town of Kohat, was on a preaching mission in northern Afghanistan when he was arrested by Afghan warlord General Rashid Dostum and handed to the US authorities.

Guantanamo Bay
The Pakistani is one of the few interns to be released
He says he witnessed scores of people dying including 50 who suffocated to death as he was transported across Afghanistan.

Mr Sagheer also says he saw hundreds of fellow prisoners die in US bombardments of northern Afghanistan.

On being handed to the American authorities he says he was deprived of food, forbidden to pray and made to shave off his beard.

In Guantanamo Bay he says he faced relentless questioning largely about Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda.

The legal notice served by Mr Chaudhry says Mr Sagheer suffered "suffered mental shock, financial loss, physical victimisation, estrangement and religious victimisation".

Pakistan holds freed Guantanamo inmate
29 Oct 02  |  South Asia


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