When Muhammad Saad Iqbal arrived home here in August after more than six years in American custody, including five at the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, he had difficulty walking, his left ear was severely infected, and he was dependent on a cocktail of antibiotics and antidepressants.
In November, a Pakistani surgeon operated on his ear, physical therapists were working on lower back problems and a psychiatrist was trying to wean him off the drugs he carried around in a white, plastic shopping bag.
The maladies, said Mr. Iqbal, 31, a professional reader of the Koran, are the result of a gantlet of torture, imprisonment and interrogation for which his Washington lawyer plans to sue the United States government.
The coming administration of President-elect Barack Obama is weighing whether to close the Guantánamo prison, which many critics have called an extralegal system of detention and abuse.
But the full stories of individual detainees like Mr. Iqbal are only now emerging after years in which they were shuttled around the globe under the Bush administration's system of extraordinary rendition, which used foreign countries to interrogate and detain terrorism suspects in sites beyond the reach of American courts.
Mr. Iqbal was never convicted of any crime, or even charged with one. He was quietly released from Guantánamo with a routine explanation that he was no longer considered an enemy combatant, part of an effort by the Bush administration to reduce the prison’s population.
"I feel ashamed what the Americans did to me in this period," Mr. Iqbal said, speaking for the first time at length about his ordeal during several hours of interviews with The New York Times, including one from his hospital bed in Lahore.
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There was no evidence that he had ever met Osama bin Laden, or had been to Afghanistan, the two senior American officials said. But in the atmosphere of fear and confusion in the months after Sept. 11, 2001, Mr. Iqbal was secretly moved to Egypt for further interrogation, said one of the senior American officials.
Mr. Iqbal said he had been beaten, tightly shackled, covered with a hood and given drugs, subjected to electric shocks and, because he denied knowing Mr. bin Laden, deprived of sleep for six months. "They make me blind and stand up for whole days," he said in halting English, meaning that he had been covered with a hood or blindfolded.
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Mr. Iqbal said he had received his first round of physical abuse at the Jakarta airport, before being shoved onto the plane, shackled and blindfolded.
"One person from Egyptian intelligence, he come and he punch me here, very hard," he said, pounding his chest, "and he grab me like this and he throw me against the wall. Then they make me naked, they torture me."
He said he knew that his assailant at the airport was Egyptian from his Arabic accent. According to a senior American official and two Indonesian officials, Mr. Iqbal was flown from Jakarta to Cairo on a C.I.A. aircraft.
During the flight to Cairo, Mr. Iqbal said, he was bleeding from his nose, mouth and ears, and was unable to move because shackles wound tightly around his body.
When the plane landed, he was told he was in Cairo, he said. He was assigned a basement room like "a grave," about 6 feet by 4 feet, he said, and was kept there for 92 days, according to the transcript of his tribunal hearing. On Jan. 11, 12 and 20, 2002, he was interrogated for 12 to 15 hours on each occasion, he said during the interviews here.
He described the interrogators as Egyptians. Mr. Iqbal said there were other men in the room whose faces were covered and who did not speak, but who passed notes with questions to the Egyptians.
He was asked when he had gone to Afghanistan and how he had met Mr. bin Laden. When he replied that he had never been to Afghanistan and had not met Mr. bin Laden, the Egyptians tortured him with electric shocks, he said. "I cry and I yell," he said. "Also they gave me brain electric shocks." He said he was forced to consume liquids that were laced with drugs "so you don't know what you are talking about."
In early April, he said, the Americans flew him to Bagram, the American air base outside the Afghan capital, Kabul. He was held there for almost a year, at times shackled and handcuffed in a small cage with other detainees, and further interrogated, he said.
"A C.I.A. person said, 'We forgive you; just accept you met Osama bin Laden.' I said, 'No, I'm not going to say that.'" Even though polygraph tests showed that he was telling the truth, he said, he was shifted from cell to cell every few hours and deprived of sleep for six months.
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Mr. Iqbal's case is now being fought in the American courts. His lawyer, Richard L. Cys of Davis Wright Tremaine, who visited him in Guantánamo, said he planned to sue the American government for the unlawful detention of Mr. Iqbal.
Mr. Cys has also filed a lawsuit in the federal courts to win the release of Mr. Iqbal's medical records for the period he was at Guantánamo, hoping to confirm Mr. Iqbal's account of his abuse in Egypt.
In Lahore, Mr. Iqbal wants to return to teaching the Koran. "It's easy for the United States to say no charges were found," he said. "But who is responsible for the seven years of my life?"
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I hope the legal process helps restore some of Mr Iqbal's sense of self and control over this life. Many survivors attest that it can.
For the rest of us, these stories remind us of what's at stake. We can't be fooled into thinking that last November's US election means an end to this horror. CIA-funded torture didn't start under the Resident and there's no reason to think it ends when Obama moves into the White House.