Gul Rahman

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Gul Rahman
Photo of Gul Rahman, released by his family, via CBS News.jpg
Photo of Gul Rahman, released by his family
Arrested October 2002
To find Hekmatyar
Died 20 November 2002(2002-11-20)
the Salt Pit
Citizenship Afghanistan
Detained at Salt Pit
Charge(s) No charge
Status Died in CIA custody
Occupation Senior member of HIA
Children 4 children

Gul Rahman (died 20 November 2002) was a suspected Afghan militant and torture victim who died in a secret CIA prison, or black site, located in northern Kabul, Afghanistan and known as the Salt Pit.[1] He had been captured October 29, 2002.[2][3]

His name was kept secret by the United States for more than seven years although his death was announced. Before his death he was left half-stripped and chained against a concrete wall on a night when the temperature was close to freezing.[2] The United States government did not notify his family (wife and four daughters) of his death.[2]

Capture and death[edit]

Gul Rahman was captured and arrested on 29 October 2002 during a joint operation by U.S. agents and Pakistani security forces against Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin.[4] He was reportedly arrested with the physician Ghairat Baheer, the son-in-law of the warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, who leads the insurgent faction Hezb-e-Islami.[4] Rahman had traveled from Peshawar to Islamabad, Pakistan for a medical checkup when he was arrested at the home of Ghairat Baheer, and subsequently flown by the CIA to Afghanistan.[4]

A former U.S. official said Rahman was violent and uncooperative while in custody at the Salt Pit, a CIA black site or covert interrogation center.[4] Rahman threatened to kill his guards, who responded by beating him, according to several former Central Intelligence Agency officials.[4] Gul Rahman reportedly died on 20 November 2002 after being stripped naked from the waist down and shackled to a cold cement wall in the Salt Pit, where temperatures were approximately 36° Fahrenheit/2° Celsius.[3]

His death prompted an internal CIA review and the development of improved guidance. No one was ever charged in his death.[citation needed]

After Rahman was identified in news accounts in April 2010, his family asked the International Red Cross for assistance in recovering his body for a religious burial.[citation needed]

Rescue of Hamid Karzai[edit]

According to Gul's brother, Habib Rahman, Gul Rahman was involved in a 1994 rescue of Hamid Karzai, the president of Afghanistan since 2004. Karzai had been imprisoned by the government forces, and Rahman was working for the insurgent leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. Hekmatyar's forces fired rockets at the building while Rahman entered and freed Karzai. Rahman took him to a safe house in Kabul.[1]


  1. ^ a b Cathy Gannon, Adam Goldman (6 April 2010). "CIA victim said to have rescued future Afghan pres". Associated Press. Retrieved 20 April 2010. mirror
  2. ^ a b c Jane Mayer (31 March 2010). "Who Killed Gul Rahman?". New Yorker magazine. Retrieved 20 April 2010. mirror
  3. ^ a b "Did CIA Torture Victim Once Rescue Hamid Karzai?". CBS News. 6 April 2010. Retrieved 20 April 2010. mirror
  4. ^ a b c d e "Death shed light on CIA ‘Salt Pit’ near Kabul: Handling of terror suspect led to inquiry by agency's inspector general". MSNBC. 28 March 2010. Retrieved 15 April 2012. 

External links[edit]