Kazakhstani detainees at Guantanamo Bay
The United States Department of Defense acknowledges holding four Kazakh detainees in Guantanamo. A total of 778 detainees have been held in extrajudicial detention in the Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba since the camps opened on January 11, 2002 The camp population peaked in 2004 at approximately 660. Only nineteen new detainees, all "high value detainees" have been transferred there since the United States Supreme Court's ruling in Rasul v. Bush. As of January 2008 the camp population stand at approximately 285.
Kazakhstan's First Deputy Foreign Minister Kairat Abuseitov confirmed, on January 16, 2003, that Kazakh security officials had interviewed two Kazakhstan citizens in Guantanamo. He described the two detainees as "young", and stated that Kazakhstan had appealed to the USA for their release.
On November 2003 the Central Asia Caucasus Institute Analyst reported that Kazakh Foreign Minister Qasymzhomart Toqaev Kazakhstan had been negotiated with the USA for the release of its citizens. The Minister stated:
"...the situation is complicated by the admissions of some of the prisoners that they took part in military operations with the Taliban in Afghanistan."
Kazakh detainees in Guantanamo
|84||Ilkham Turdbyavich Batayev||
|528||Abdallah Tohtasinovich Magrupov||
Ambassador Ordway's 22 May 2007 press briefing
American ambassador John M. Ordway addressed the Kazakhstani detainees in Guantanamo during a May 22, 2007 press briefing at the Kazakhstani Press Club. Ordway confirmed that one detainee the USA considered a citizen of Kazakhstan remained in Guantanamo. He stated that it was against US policy to compensate former detainees. He asserted detainees were not detained any longer than necessary for US national security.
What can you tell us about the fourth Kazakhstani still detained at the Guantanamo facility. Will the United State pay compensation if it turns out he violated no laws and was detained without cause?
With regard to the issue of compensation, we do not pay compensation for any of the enemy combatants who were in the Guantanamo facility.
With regard to the Kazakhstani citizen who is still there, as was the case before, I can’t provide any details other than to say that we have been and will continue to be in discussion with the government of Kazakhstan about any possible release or return of their citizens.
There are many of these people, the reason they are released is because we do not have any particular charges. They were enemy combatants who were found in Afghanistan in circumstances that they were fighting with or participating with forces that were fighting U.S. forces and therefore were captured as enemy combatants. There was then a process to determine whether they represented any future threat. If not, as was the case with the three who were released, they are then released.
We also had a very extensive process to determine when there was no longer any reason to hold those people because they represented no further threat. That is exactly what happened with the three who were released and returned to Kazakhstan. They were no further threat.
October 2008 repatriation
On 31 October 2008 the Department of Defense announced two detainees were repatriated to Kazakhstan and Tajikistan. The DoD withheld the two men's names.
- OARDEC (May 15, 2006). "List of Individuals Detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba from January 2002 through May 15, 2006". United States Department of Defense. Retrieved 2007-09-29.
- "Kazakhstan to appeal to U.S. to release Guantanamo detainees". Central Asia Caucasus Institute Analyst. February 2, 2003. Retrieved 2008-04-03.
- "Kazakhstan inquiries about its citizen at Guantanamo". Central Asia Caucasus Institute Analyst. November 25, 2003. Retrieved 2008-04-03.
- "Perkins Coie Pro Bono Client Ihlkham Battayav Released from Guantanamo". Perkins Cole. December 18, 2006. Retrieved 2008-04-03.
- Summarized transcripts (.pdf), from Abdulrahim Kerimbakiev's Combatant Status Review Tribunal - pages 1-9
- Factors for and against the continued detention (.pdf) of Abdulrahim Kerimbakiev Administrative Review Board, May 2, 2005 - page 43
- Summarized transcript (.pdf), from Abdulrahim Kerimbakiev's Administrative Review Board hearing - pages 136-137
- Associated Press (2006-12-26). "Three ex-Guantánamo detainees free in Kazakhstan". The St. Petersburg Times. Retrieved 2008-06-18.
- Summarized transcripts (.pdf), from Abdallah Tohtasinovich Magrupov's Combatant Status Review Tribunal - pages 7-11
- OARDEC (18 October 2004). "Summary of Evidence for Combatant Status Review Tribunal -- Abahanov, Yakub". United States Department of Defense. pp. page 48. Retrieved 2008-01-15.
- OARDEC (8 July 2005). "Unclassified Summary of Evidence for Administrative Review Board in the case of Abahanov, Yakub". United States Department of Defense. pp. pages 85–87. Retrieved 2008-01-15.
- John M. Ordway (May 22, 2007). "Press Conference with Ambassador Ordway". American Embassy in Kazakhstan. Retrieved 2008-04-03. "With regard to the issue of compensation, we do not pay compensation for any of the enemy combatants who were in the Guantanamo facility."
- "Detainee Transfer Announced". Department of Defense. 2008-10-31. Retrieved 2008-11-01.