Innocent Afghan Detainees At Gitmo?

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On April 10th this year, a 21-year-old student earning extra money for his family drove a taxi out of a stand in Kabul.

As CBS News Correspondent Allen Pizzey reports, three hours later he rolled up to a roadblock outside the town of Gardez and then disappeared.

A few days later, his father, Sayed Roshan, learned he had been handed over to U.S. troops. And then heard nothing more.

Then, Roshan tells Pizzey, "Suddenly I got the first message from Cuba."

So after two months of trying to find out what had happened, he suddenly discovered his son was in Cuba.

Abassin Roshan is now Detainee "JJJFGA" at Camp X-Ray, Guantanamo Bay.

Apparently, Abassin and another taxi driver were picked up in the middle of clashes between a local warlord and pro-American militiamen and handed over to U.S. Special Forces in the camp.

Within days, the Americans were told the two men were innocent, according to the local governor at the time.

Taj Mohammed Wardak, Minister of the Interior, claims the two men, one of them being Abassin Sayed Roshan, were not guilty of anything. They were taken by mistake.

Says Wardak bluntly, "They were not guilty."

In fact, Guantanamo Bay detention camp appears to host a significant number of people who have no reason to be there.

According to Pentagon sources, Abassin Roshan is one of about 60 detainees whose release is "under consideration".

CBS News has also learned that among those held at Camp X-ray as "enemy combatants" are several men over the age of 66, and one man who is more than 90 years old.

Sayed Roshan says he was beaten by the Taliban.

He is certain his son hated the fundamentalist regime and has repeatedly asked the U.S. embassy here to discuss his case.

"Please come in from the embassy," Roshan asked them, "You call me. This is my contact, this is my fax, this is my telephone."

But no one ever contacted him.

Embassy officials have refused to comment, saying all questions on detainees are handled by the International Red Cross.

In brief messages Abassin has said he is in good health and well-treated, but it doesn't help his father.

"Everything is, I think is damaged. My mind also is not normally, twenty-four hours I'm thinking about my son," Roshan says.

Amazingly, Sayed Roshan expresses hope that his son will be able to study in America. But first, America has to set him free.
  • Sue Chan

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