When Mishal al-Harbi's foot touched the grounds of
"He was just like the rest ofhis brothers before he left," Hamida Owayid, his mother, said bitterly.
"What did the Americans do tohim?"
Mishal, who went to
Three years later when he wasreleased, the young Saudi was permanently paralyzed and restricted to awheelchair for life.
Old wooden and newer steelwatchtowers dot the perimeter.
Amnesty International insists
The international rights watchdogonce likened it to gulag prisons, the Soviet detention centers notorious fortorturing political prisoners and suspects.
"He will need to be in someassisted-living situation," read the 2006 report.
But his family dismisses the suicidetheory.
"With the strength of hisfaith, which took him all the way to
The family is not only seekingfinancial compensation but also concrete admission from the
With his speech slurred and his bodygripped with jerks and shakes, the former detainee hardly remembers the fulldetails of his ordeal, recalling only glimpses of guards' cruelty.
"He was carrying a shield. Hepushed me with it. I don't remember anything else," he said with a heavytongue, referring to one of his jailers.
But other detainees who werereleased from
"Word of the Qur'an'sdesecration quickly spread around the camp, and the brothers were all veryagitated," said Saad al-Azmi, a Kuwaiti.
After prisoners staged a hungerstrike to protest disrespect of their holy book, Mishal and some others weretransferred to an isolation block, said Hammad Ali, a Sudanese who was in thesame isolation block at the time.
One night, guards rushed into thealmost-dark blocks and started beating prisoners in their individual cells.
Detainees recall that soon after,Mishal was carried out of his cell and guards said he had tried to hang himselfwith a blanket.
After months of being hospitalizedunconscious, Mishal was released into Saudi custody in July 2005 and ninemonths later he was sent home.
"All the men who were releasedfrom
"But Mishal can't walk, gethimself a glass of water or go to the bathroom by himself.
"I just want him to go back theway he was before