Former Gitmo prisoners remain jailed in Pakistan

The U.S. is exporting all sorts of stuff to Pakistan these days:

The U.S. military has released at least 211 detainees from Guantanamo, but many — including dozens of prisoners sent to the United Kingdom, Russia, France, Morocco, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan — are freed on the condition they will be held by their home countries. [AP/Yahoo!]

Some could be innocent:

In Hussainabad, a clutch of mud-brick homes 185 miles south of the capital, the family of one of the prisoners said Tuesday it is desperate to see him freed, and argues the U.S. decision to let him leave Guantanamo is evidence he’s not a dangerous terrorist. Ghulam Farid — brother-in-law of prisoner Bashir Ahmad — said the family’s joy at learning of his release from Guantanamo has turned to frustration. “I have no idea why the government won’t release him. There can be no good reason,” he said. “We are poor people. We can’t get any answers from our government. We are helpless.” [AP/Yahoo!]

Others could be douchebags:

Bashir Ahmad was 17 years old in 2000 when he closed his video rental shop and went off to fight, his mother Jannat Bibi said. A friend of Ahmad’s said he was motivated by a local religious leader from the banned Sunni militant group Sipah-e-Sahaba, which is headquartered just a few miles away in the city of Jhang, a hotbed of militancy. Ahmad told his family he was going to fight in Kashmir, but they heard nothing from him until getting a letter in 2002 saying he was in jail in Afghanistan. A second letter arrived later from the Red Cross saying he was at Guantanamo. Two weeks ago, Red Cross officials came to tell the family that Ahmad had been returned to Pakistan, but said they had no power to get him out of jail or arrange a visit. [AP/Yahoo!]

But since no one’s sure, officials are content to indefinitely hole them up in the pokey:

More than three dozen Pakistanis who were freed from an American prison at Guantanamo Bay remain jailed in their home country, most without charge and with no sign of when they might be released, security and government officials say. [AP/Yahoo!]

AP/Yahoo!: Some Pakistanis jailed without charge

5 thoughts on “Former Gitmo prisoners remain jailed in Pakistan

  1. The Supreme Court decided three cases about the enemy combatants in June of last year. The most relevant here is Rasul v. Bush. The narrow holding of that case was that US courts have the jurisdiction to hear legal challenges to the detention of foreigners captured abroad and interned at Gitmo (i.e. habeas corpus proceedings.) This is relevant b/c even though the people involved are not American, and they were not captured or detained on American soil, the Court found that the protections of the Constitution applied. Reading the opinions together, essentially – Gitmo is an extension of the US, and the foreign nationals have been brought within the aegis of the US judicial system.

    The cynical predicted that the US would ship ‘em off. The question now is: do people who have been “shipped home” to be confined there continue to have the same Constitutional rights that they had while imprisoned at Gitmo?

    Hamdi et al v. Rumsfeld, Padilla v. Rumsfeld , Rasul et al v. Bush (June 28, 2004)


  2. I recently watched a show about Guantanamo Bay (maybe Nightline?) that revealed an interesting anecdote. Apparently, there was a cash bounty paid to whomever turned in Al-Qaeda members in Afghanistan. This bounty enticed many people to turn in innocent people, whether or not they were Al-Qaeda members.

  3. This is horrible, but it’s part of a bigger problem. No one ever talks about what happens to the 1,000,000 plus other people that have been deported in the past 10 years (that’s a government stat). Human rights violations are horrible, but so are “ordinary” deportations of people with friends, families, etc.

  4. ashvin: ah yes, now I remember, that’s the show I watched. I remember thinking to myself that some of the man’s claims were unbelievable. But even if half the things he said were true or rooted in truth, that is still cause for concern…