My name was no longer Abdullah, I was known only as prisoner number 454. No one called you by your name here, yet another way to remind you that you were not human. I still have no idea why am I here. I have been interrogated repeatedly and moved multiple times. It didn’t seem to matter if I knew what they were looking for or not as long as I confessed to being a terrorist. Billions of pounds were being spent on forcing innocent people like myself implicate themselves.
I asked for legal representation , I asked to be taken before a court. No one cared , due process was a far away dream. I was told repeatedly that they could keep me for as long as they wanted and that I had better get used to answering to a new God… them.
Late one night I was dragged from my cell into a dark room, the silence was deafening. I was left alone for a long time and then a few officers entered the room and began kicking me around, it was agony and then suddenly like nothing had happened I put onto a chair and the the questioning began.
Officer: What is your link to the terrorist group ISIS?
Me: Nothing, I told you over and over, I went to my friends wedding in London and then took my family on holiday to Paris.
Officer: We know you have links to ISIS and that while in London you attended the mosque of a radical imam, more than one time a day.
Me: That is correct I attend mosque 5 times a day , I am a Muslim and that is how often we pray. I attended the mosque nearest to me at prayer time.
Eventually the questions became absurd.
I asked to call home and to speak to Sadia. I wanted to know if my family was ok but I was denied all outside communication.
A few weeks had passed since I was questioned. Most of the time, I was strung up like a rag doll, each arm to one side of the room. The moment I fell asleep loud music would play continuously on the highest volume. The lights were always kept on and I was given water to drink from a bowl twice a day. Food was withheld.
One morning a man came in and began to examine me. He was short, skinny yet muscular and he smelled like sweat. He asked me what my relation to Jihadi groups was. I remained silent, what was the point of speak after a long time he removed my clothes and untied my arms and then left. I was subjected to extreme heat and cold temperatures and every time I fell asleep a blinding light was switched on. I estimated a week had passed. I was allowed water but no food. I was terribly weak and my body ached. I was covered in my own urine and faeces. I must have died and gone to hell what other explanation could there be for this inhumane treatment.
The smell became unbearable, not just for me because a day later I was hosed down with ice cold water. I tried to stand up and cover myself but I was too weak. They just laughed. I was shocked at how brutal human beings could be towards their own species.
For two more weeks I refused to eat what they brought to my cell, once a day. I had no idea what it was and I didn’t trust them.
One day I was dragged to what appeared to be a medical station, put into a chair and a tube was forced down my throat. Later I would vomit everything out. They would do this to me 3 times a day for the rest of the week. I was fading away very quick my ribs were beginning to show out and I felt more and more sick.
The only good thing about being at the medical station was that I saw other people, being treated like me, which confirmed that I was not the only person being kept here. Having arrived here while sedated , I was pretty clueless about where I was.
Animals had more rights than us. The torture, hunger, force feeding, humiliation it was unbearable. I prayed for my family and the others I had seen. I prayed for my captors because there was no way this would not leave a mark on their psyche. Lastly I prayed to Allah to get me out of here.
One night I was taken to a cell in a block of cells. I was reluctant to talk to any one. I longed for my family and my home. At times I felt like I would easily give my life to be able to play with my kids and hold Sadia one last time. I pushed home out of my mind and got ready for salaah. Just then someone nearby began the call to prayer, my heart soared, the azaan brought hope. Sometime later I was given a prayer mat. The brothers in the cells around me spoke to one another, having people around you after months in solitary confinement felt like being reborn.
A week had gone by and I was slowly getting into a routine. A few nights later I woke up to banging and in my half sleep state , I was hooded and dragged across the floor and thrown into a room with some shelves against the wall.
Ya Allah you are my protector, please keep me safe from these evil men. Mentally I was ready, I had my creator by my side. I closed my eyes and waited…nothing. My legs became tired from standing but I was tied up in a manner that didn’t allow me to sit. I waited and waited my legs were numb and I fell onto my hands, which were now carrying my body because of the manner in which they were tied. I don’t know if a lot of time passed or I just passed out eventually because it was too hot in the room. I was sweating uncontrollably, my mouth became dry and my hands and legs were numb. The chains were cutting into my skin and the blood ran downwards. I licked the sweat from my top lip but what I really needed was water. I tried to shout but nothing came out of my lips. My body was in more pain than I could imagine and then the strangest thing happened…I felt no pain, it was gone, just like that it stopped and a light breeze blew into the room.
People will probably say I’m nuts and as a doctor I should know this isn’t even possible. I guess when the trauma reached it’s peak your brain kicks in and tries to provide some comfort. But nothing lasts forever . I kept telling myself to pray in order to take my mind off the pain and I kept praying, in those moments I found my faith growing stronger and stronger.