He Never Even Killed a Chicken

I do wish I knew Arabic.  Muhammad al-Hamiri, another of the Yemenis, only nineteen years old when seized and sold into US captivity, is reported by Andy Worthington to have said that not only did he never have a weapon or fight anyone, but he never even killed a chicken.

He could have meant that quite literally, but I am wondering and could not find out whether or not killing a chicken might be something like not harming a flea, an expression used to show complete non violence.  Whatever al-Hamiri meant, it is clear that he is no terrorist, meant no harm to the US or anyone, and should never have been imprisoned, much less tortured all these years.

Like Latif and al-Qadasi, Muhammad al-Hamiri was seeking medical treatment.  He says a British resident was responsible for persuading him to go into Afghanistan where he wasted six months doing nothing.  Another of the “unidentified sources” allege that he trained at the camp at al-Farouq and “spoke with Osama bin Laden,” but there is no evidence he did.  He may have stayed at a house with someone associated with the Taliban, but we must remember that the Taliban were ubiquitous; there would be no reason for a Yemeni not to stay in a guest house owned by a Talib, or indeed by any person in Afghanistan.

His CSRT [US military document] quotes him as saying very eloquently that “the charges against him and the others ‘were made up in order to keep him and other Muslims at the camp,’ because he ‘never had a weapon, never carried one and never even killed a chicken.'”


2 Responses to “He Never Even Killed a Chicken”


    […] The military commissions, which Obama has reinstated despite promises while running for office not to, appear by no less an authority than Colonel Yvonne Bradley, military lawyer who defended some of the prisoners at Guantanamo, designed to find the prisoners guilty and keep them incarcerated at Guantánamo.  The prisoners say that as well, as you can see from the story of Al-Hamari and others in this series. […]

  2. No War No Torture » Blog Archive » Khalid Qasim Says:

    […] Many of the prisoners at the Guantánamo torture camp have never engaged in any aggression against anyone, the proverbial “I never even killed a chicken” being a true statement for many of these men and boys.  On this blog we have also seen stories of what Andy Worthington called “foot soldiers,” persons who were engaged at low levels, for instance, in the ongoing decades’ long combat among warlords in Afghanistan.  Many of them never committed any aggression against the US.  There are also some men who sought training to defend Muslims against attack by anyone.  Some of these young men were horrified to find the combat among Muslin groups in Afghanistan and refused to take arms against other Muslims.  They wanted to fight for their religion not against others who practice it.  Most of these also never committed any acts of war against the US. […]

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