THE WORLDPOST
09/02/2011 02:42 pm ET Updated Nov 02, 2011

Matthew Van Dyke, Former Abu Salim Prisoner, Revisits Jail Cell

U.S. citizen Matthew Van Dyke spent 76 days in solitary confinement after being captured by pro-Gaddafi forces. "I thought I'd probably been accused of being CIA or al-Qaeda," Van Dyke recalls. While he was kept behind locked bars in Libya's infamous Abu Salim prison, Van Dyke was unaware of the country's ongoing political turmoil and had no contact with the outside world. "A lot of the world thought I was dead," he says.

Six months after his initial arrest, Van Dyke heard banging on his cell bars. According to Van Dyke, rebel forces broke the lock off his door and motioned for him to leave. He then fled to a nearby mosque along with hundreds of prisoners, some of whom "had terrible lash marks, scars, and things on their backs," Van Dyke recounts.

Since rebel forces took control of Tripoli, Abu Salim is a mere vestige of the notorious prison it once was. GlobalPost correspondent James Foley revisited the prison with Matthew Van Dyke, who recounted his tenure as a prisoner in Abu Salim.

Watch the video from GlobalPost below: