Abdu Ali al Haji Sharqawi

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Al Hajj Abdu Ali Sharqawi
Born (1974-05-26) 26 May 1974 (age 41)
Ta'izz, Yemen
Arrested February 2002
Karachi, Pakistan
Citizenship Yemen
Detained at CIA's black sites
Alternate name Riyadh the facilitator[citation needed]
ISN 1457
Status Still held in Guantanamo

Al Hajj Abdu Ali Sharqawi is a citizen of Yemen held in the United States's Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba.[1] The Department of Defense reports that he was born on 26 May 1974, in Ta'izz, Yemen.[1]

As of June 4, 2011, Abdu Ali al Haji Sharqawi has been held at Guantanamo for six years nine months.[2]

Transportation to Guantanamo Bay[edit]

Human Rights group Reprieve reports that flight records show two captives named Al-Sharqawi and Hassan bin Attash were flown from Kabul in September 2002. The two men were flown aboard N379P, a plane suspected to be part of the CIA's ghost fleet. Flight records showed that the plane originally departed from Diego Garcia, stopped in Morocco, Portugal, then Kabul before landing in Guantanamo Bay.[3]

The Guardian reports that one of the two men has been released from US custody.[3]

A differing report shows Sharqawi was arrested by the CIA in Karachi, Pakistan, in February 2002, and rendered to Jordan. He was transferred to Afghanistan in January 2004, where he was held at the CIA-run Dark Prison, then at Bagram Air Base, and then finally transferred to Guantanamo in September 2004.[4]

Extraordinary rendition[edit]

Al Haji Abdu Ali Sharqawi has written that after his capture, in February 2002, in Pakistan he spent two years in CIA custody in foreign interrogation centres, prior to his transfer to Guantanamo, in February 2004: [5][6] He writes that he spent 19 months in Amman, Jordan, and then five months in a secret interrogation centre. While in Jordan he had been handed over to the custody of Jordan's General Intelligence Department. He wrote:

  • "I was kidnapped, not knowing anything of my fate, with continuous torture and interrogation for the whole of two years. When I told them the truth, I was tortured and beaten.
  • "I was told that if I wanted to leave with permanent disability both mental and physical, that that could be arranged. They said they had all the facilities of Jordan to achieve that. I was told that I had to talk, I had to tell them everything."

Habeas Corpus[edit]

In June 2011 a federal Judge ruled that the Obama administration can not use certain statements Sharqawi gave to justify his detention because the government did not rebut claims of torture in Jordan and Afghanistan. But the same judge rejected a defense attempt to suppress an incriminating statement Sharqawi made before his claims of torture.[7]

Joint Review Task Force[edit]

When he assumed office in January 2009 President Barack Obama made a number of promises about the future of Guantanamo.[8][9][10] He promised the use of torture would cease at the camp. He promised to institute a new review system. That new review system was composed of officials from six departments, where the OARDEC reviews were conducted entirely by the Department of Defense. When it reported back, a year later, the Joint Review Task Force classified some individuals as too dangerous to be transferred from Guantanamo, even though there was no evidence to justify laying charges against them. On April 9, 2013, that document was made public after a Freedom of Information Act request.[11] Sharqawi Abdu All Al Hajj was one of the 71 individuals deemed too innocent to charge, but too dangerous to release. Although Obama promised that those deemed too innocent to charge, but too dangerous to release would start to receive reviews from a Periodic Review Board less than a quarter of men have received a review.


  1. ^ a b "List of Individuals Detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba from January 2002 through 15 May 2006" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 May 2009. Retrieved 14 May 2009. 
  2. ^ The Guantanamo Docket - Abdu Ali al Haji Sharqawi
  3. ^ a b Richard Norton-Taylor, Duncan Campbell (10 March 2008). "Fresh questions on torture flights spark demands for inquiry". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 14 March 2008. Retrieved 17 March 2008. Flight plan records show that one of the aircraft, registered N379P, flew in September 2002 from Diego Garcia to Morocco. From there it flew to Portugal and then to Kabul. Passenger names have been blacked out. However, Reprieve, which represents prisoners faced with the death penalty and torture, said that in Kabul the aircraft picked up Al-Sharqawi and Hassan bin Attash, two suspects who were tortured in Jordan before being rendered to Afghanistan and flown to Guantánamo Bay. Those rendered through Diego Garcia remain unidentified. In a letter to Miliband, Clive Stafford Smith, Reprieve's legal director, said: 'It is certainly not going to rebuild public confidence if we say that two people were illegally taken through British territory but then refuse to reveal the fates of these men.' 
  4. ^ "Human Rights Watch, Double Jeopardy: CIA Renditions to Jordan (2008)". Human Rights Watch. Archived from the original on 15 January 2009. Retrieved 8 January 2009.  January 2009 mirror
  5. ^ Craig Whitlock (2 December 2007). "Non-Jordanian suspects sent by CIA to Amman spy center". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2 December 2007.  November 2008 mirror
  6. ^ Mariner, Joanne (10 April 2008). "We'll make you see death". Salon magazine. Retrieved 5 November 2008.  November 2008 mirror
  7. ^ http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/06/08/37210.htm
  8. ^ Peter Finn (January 22, 2010). "Justice task force recommends about 50 Guantanamo detainees be held indefinitely". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2015-05-19. Retrieved July 21, 2010. 
  9. ^ Peter Finn (May 29, 2010). "Most Guantanamo detainees low-level fighters, task force report says". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2015-05-19. Retrieved July 21, 2010. 
  10. ^ Andy Worthington (June 11, 2010). "Does Obama Really Know or Care About Who Is at Guantánamo?". Archived from the original on 2010-06-16. Retrieved July 21, 2010. 
  11. ^ "71 Guantanamo Detainees Determined Eligible to Receive a Periodic Review Board as of April 19, 2013". Joint Review Task Force. 2013-04-09. Archived from the original on 2015-05-19. Retrieved 2015-05-18. 

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