Gul, whose face was scarred after being wounded by Soviet shrapnel as a 3-year-old, lived as a refugee in Pakistan and returned to Afghanistan only after the fall of the Taliban. He took up a job as a guard in the employ of the Karzai government in the town of Gardez. Ill-luck and a visit to the town dentist saw him sleep one night in a house belonging to a man rumored to be in cahoots with the Taliban — even those links appear uncertain — and Gul was swept up by U.S. soldiers in the cover of darkness. He was taken to Guantanamo via the infamous Bagram air base, where he claims to have been beaten on numerous occasions. Lawyers representing Gul believe he was confused for Chaman Gul, a known warlord. Gul described his befuddlement to a McClatchy reporter:
The interrogators there accused him of being a militant commander, saying that his brother had fought American troops in Jalalabad. Gul said that his brother worked at the family bakery in Pakistan.
“I told them, look, my brother fights fires in a bakery oven, and that’s all,” he said.
He was released in 2007, without ever being charged.
PHOTOS: TIME goes inside Guantanamo.
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