The Largest Mass Killing of Prisoners in US History
The Twin Massacres of Qala-I-Jangi and Dasht-I-Leili
  • Saturday 20th NOV 2021
  • 6 PM 
  • The Atrium 124-126 Cheshire St, London E2 6EJ


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What this is about ...

In November 2001, US forces carried out intense bombing of Taliban positions in Afghanistan. In the Northern Afghan city of Kunduz, several hundred foreign Taliban soldiers, who had been fighting against the Northern Alliance for years became the target of US airstrikes. Under incessant carpet bombing, which included the use of 15,000-pound BLU-82 “daisy cutters”, and after a promise by warlord Dostum that they would be allowed to return home, the Taliban fighters agreed to surrender.

Around the same time, US-backed Northern Alliances militias corralled several thousand Taliban fighters - along with hundreds of Afghan civilians - and loaded them up into shipping containers destined for Sheberghan prison. However, the men were left to suffocate in the containers and shot up.

US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld was not intending to take prisoners. Instead, between the "Convoy of Death", Qala-i-Jangi and the mass graves at Dasht-i-Leili, it is estimated that over 5,000 thousands prisoners were killed. The handful who survived were sent to Guantanamo. 

On the date of the 20th anniversary of this massacre, CAGE invites you for a unique in-person event to commemorate this tragedy.

Join survivors of what is described as the largest massacre of prisoners in US modern history.


Waleed Al Hajj - Survivor of the Qala-i-Jangi massacre and Guantanamo

Sudanese national of Nubian origin who was held without charge in Guantanamo for almost 7 years. He is one of only 70 odd prisoners who survived the massacre at Qala-i-Jangi and lived to tell the tale. Waleed became a household name in the Arab world after his story of the massacre was broadcast on Al Jazeera. He also told his story to Moazzam Begg in one of the most vivid and shocking interviews conducted by CAGE.

Yahya Lindh - Survivor of the Qala-i-Jangi massacre

A former US prisoner who survived the massacre of almost 600 prisoners at Qala-i-Jangi in 2001. His story, treatment and experience symbolised the inhumanity and barbarity of the days following the US-led bombardment of Afghanistan in 2001. Although much of his story is in the public arena, hardly anyone has heard his account directly.

Ruhal Ahmad - Survivor of the Dasht-i-Leili massacre and Guantanamo

British citizen who was held without charge in Guantanamo for over two years. His imprisonment began with Afghan and US forces in Afghanistan where he survived the notorious "Convoy of Death" and the brutal prison at Sherbegan following the US-led invasion. His story is told as one of the "Tipton 3" in the award-winning film The Road to Guantanamo.

Moazzam BeggFormer Guantanamo Detainee, Outreach Director (CAGE)

A British-born Muslim, Moazzam Begg is a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner and outreach director for CAGE. After his release, he became one of the most prominent public-speakers and Muslim advocates for justice and dialogue. 

He is the author of the best-seller Enemy Combatant in which he recounts his experience as an innocent man detained and torture at Guantanamo, Bagram and Kandahar. The Muslim 500 listed him as one of the 500 “most influential Muslims” in the world. The New Statesman listed him in the top 50 “Heroes of our time”

He has travelled extensively to investigate state abuses and western complicity in torture including to Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and Syria. A direct eye-witness to the conflicts in Bosnia, Afghanistan and Syria, his life has been recorded by the Columbia University Oral History project, and the BBC Storyville documentary, The Confession.

Dr Asim Qureshi - Research Director, CAGE

Graduated in Law (LLB Hons) LLM, specialising in International Law and Islamic Law. He completed his PhD in International Conflict Analysis from the University of Kent.He is the Research Director at the advocacy group CAGE, and since 2003 has specialised in investigating the impact of counterterrorism practices worldwide. He has published a wide range of NGO reports, academic journals and articles. In 2009, he authored the book Rules of the Game: Detention, Deportation, Disappearance (Hurst, Columbia UP) a chapter in the 2017 book What is Islamophobia? (Pluto Press, Chicago UP) and in 2018 A Virtue of Disobedience (Unbound and ByLine Books). In 2020 the book I Refuse to Condemn was published by Manchester University Press (Dr Asim Qureshi Editor). Since 2010, he has been advising legal teams involved in defending terrorism trials in the US and at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
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