Guantanamo Bay

News from Guantanamo

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   —News from Guantanamo     August, 7th, 2006
Detainee No: 269, dob: Not documented, British resident
Mohammed ‘Yusuf’ El Gharani

Sent to Guantanamo at fourteen years of age

Mohammed El Gharani was just 14 years old when he was seized by the Pakistanis and sold to the Americans for a bounty.

As a Chad national in Saudi Arabia, his opportunities for education and advancement were extremely limited, so Mohammed left his home shortly before 11th September, 2001, hoping to learn English and train to work with computers.

There is no evidence that Mohammed ever traveled to Afghanistan nor that he intended to do so. Nevertheless, he is now one of twenty juveniles that Reprieve has identified that are being held in Guantanamo Bay.

He states that he has been terribly abused there – including having a cigarette stubbed out on his arm by an interrogator and being constantly abused by guards. Most of his mistreatment stems from his vocal objection to being called a ‘nigger’ by US Military personnel.

The United States has explicitly misled the public about whether children are being held in Guantanamo Bay. On BBC Radio 4’s ‘PM’ programme on January 29, 2004 Jon Manel interviewed Lieutenant Commander Barbara Burfeind at the Department of Defense in Washington:

BURFEIND: We don’t plan on, er, detaining, em, juveniles at Guantanamo further. Er, I can’t say in terms of the future of anywhere else.

JON MANEL: Why not at Guantanamo anymore?

BURFEIND: Em, they just, I’ve just been told that they are not planning on having juveniles at Guantanamo.

This was false when Lt. Cdr. Burfeind made the statement and it remains false today. There are at least nine juveniles in Guantanamo Bay and five other have been released. None is being held in Camp Iguana and some, including Mohammed, are being held in the infamous Camp V – the most onerous of all the Guantanamo camps.

The US government has not filed any charges against Mohammed.

We hope to bring news of Mohammed whenever his lawyer gets to visit him next.
Mohammed is represented by Clive Stafford Smith :: Reprieve, PO Box 52742, London, EC4P 4WS.


WE CALL on the United States government to give Mohammed a fair hearing.

 
 

   —News from Guantanamo     August, 7th, 2006
Detainee No: 727, dob: 11/28/1969, British resident
Omar Deghayes

A case of mistaken identity

Omar Deghayes is a British refugee from Libya who is being held in Guantanamo Bay on evidence that has been shown to be false. A person appearing on a Chechnyan training videotape seized by the Spanish Government was wrongly identified as Omar. Omar himself has never been to Chechnya and the person portrayed was actually a man called Abu Walid, who died in Chechnya in April 2004.

Based on this misidentification, Omar was placed on the list of the top 50 terrorists in the world and was seized in Pakistan. He was taken to Bagram Airforce Base, tortured, and then transferred to Guantanamo Bay, where he has been held for three years. In one beating by the ERF (Emergency Reaction Force) team, he was permanently blinded in his right eye.

He faces rendition to Libya, where the repressive government of Colonel Gaddafi has already made known its intention to kill him. Omar’s father, Amer Deghayes, was a lawyer and a prominent figure in Libyan public life. When Gaddafi came to power, Amer was assassinated. Three days after the funeral, around twenty family friends and relatives were rounded up and imprisoned by the secret police.

The family eventually managed to flee to Britain, where they already had close ties and a house. Omar was formally given refugee status around 1987. He got a UK driver’s license and a bank account with NatWest. He did his A levels at Davies College and did his legal training at Wolverhampton University. He became a member of the Law Society and took a legal practice course in Huddersfield, although he had not yet completed his qualifications. He still hopes to return to England to continue his legal career.

Curious about life under a strict Islamic regime, Omar decide to visit Afghanistan. While he was there, he met and married an Afghan and had a son, but intended to return to England, where his application for citizenship was still pending.

Then the US bombing began. Fearing for his family, Omar immediately left for Pakistan, hoping to bring his family back home to England. But while he was there, the Pakistani police stormed in, handcuffed him and took him, his wife and child to prison. He was later moved to Guantanamo Bay.

Even though Omar has been a long-term refugee in Britain from the oppressive Gaddafi regime in Libya, the British Government insists he must apply to Libya for ‘consular assistance’. Libyan delegates did indeed visit Omar in Guantanamo. They told him, ‘You have no problems with the US. Your problems are with us.’ The delegate added, ‘You will be brought to judgment in Libya. When we bring you to Libya, I will personally teach you the meaning of this… In here I cannot do anything, but if I meet you [later] I will kill you, if you don’t kill me.”

Reprieve is currently working to secure the help of the UK Government, in order to ensure that Omar is not returned to Libya, but rather to his home in the UK.

The US government has not filed any charges against Omar.

We hope to bring news of Omar whenever his lawyer gets to visit him next.
Omar is represented by Clive Stafford Smith :: Reprieve, PO Box 52742, London, EC4P 4WS.


WE CALL on the United States government to give Omar a fair hearing.

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Written by mikk0

August 7, 2006 at 11:56 am

Posted in Guantanamo

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