CHR’s Cases of Detainees at Guantanamo and Bagram Resolved
April 9, 2010
Over the past five years, as information slowly became available about the identities of those detained in U.S. custody at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and the Bagram Internment Facility in Afghanistan, the CHR chose four cases of scientists, engineers, and health professionals detained there for an extended period of time without charge or trial. As of the end of March 2010, all four cases have been successfully resolved at last. We thank the dozens of CHR Correspondents who wrote letters in response to the Committee’s Action Alerts to the U.S. authorities requesting the release of these men . The CHR worked closely with the detainees’ U.S. lawyers over the years, appealed to high-level U.S. government officials to resolve the four cases, and, in one case, sought much-needed specialized medical care.
Libyan meteorologist Abdul Hamid al-Ghizzawi
was released from Guantanamo on March 22, 2010, and transferred to Tbilisi, Georgia, after eight years in detention without charge or trial. Taken at gunpoint from his in-laws’ house in Afghanistan in the middle of the night by a group of Afghan men, he was sold to the U.S. military for a bounty and transferred to Guantanamo. Although the members of his Combatant Status Review Tribunal unanimously determined that he should not be classified as an enemy combatant, he remained in solitary confinement in Camp Six until finally he was cleared for release by the U.S. government in June 2009—at which time his conditions were somewhat improved. During his detention his physical and mental health deteriorated markedly. His U.S. attorney's repeated requests for access to his medical records were never granted.
Afghan pharmacist Hafizullah Shabaz Khail
was freed from Bagram on March 3, 2010, and reunited with his family. He had been held there for a year and a half. His U.S. lawyers, who had successfully obtained his release from Guantanamo Bay nine months earlier, suspect that he was taken to Bagram because the Afghan authorities never fully cleared his name. (He was released from Guantanamo six months before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of allowing the detainees at Guantanamo to challenge their detentions.) Originally, in March 2003, he was arrested by local Afghan police, turned over to the U.S. military for bounty money, transferred to Guantanamo, and held for four and a half years. Mr. Khail was a respected community elder. His lawyers report there was evidence that he was named as a Taliban sympathizer by a member of the robbery ring he was about to expose.
Kuwaiti engineer Fouad al-Rabiah
was released from Guantanamo on December 9, 2009, and returned to Kuwait. A 50-year-old father of four, he had been held at Guantanamo for eight years. A U.S. District Court judge granted Mr. al-Rabiah’s habeas corpus petition and ordered him released “forthwith.” In a strongly-worded decision, she found that aggressive interrogation tactics were used to extract confessions the U.S. government knew were false.
Afghan pediatrician Said Mohammed Ali Shah Mousovi
was the CHR’s first case at Guantanamo to be successfully resolved. He was released and sent home to Afghanistan in December 2006 after three years in detention. When the Taliban took power in the 1990s, Dr. Mousovi and his family moved to Iran. After the Taliban was overthrown, he returned to his hometown of Gardez to open a medical clinic and was elected the town’s representative to the June 2002 Loya Jirga (tribunal grand council). In August 2003 Dr. Mousovi was arrested by U.S. forces and accused of providing money, shelter, and guns to the Taliban, although no evidence was ever produced to support these charges.