Omar Abdulayev

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Omar Hamzayevich Abdulayev
Born (1978-10-11) October 11, 1978 (age 35)
Dushanbe, Tajikistan
Detained at Guantanamo
ISN 257
Status Still held in Guantanamo

Omar Hamzayevich Abdulayev is a citizen of Tajikistan, held in extrajudicial detention in the United States's Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba.[1] The Department of Defense reports that Abdulayev was born on October 11, 1978, in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. He arrived at Guantanamo on February 9, 2002, and has been held there for 12 years, 6 months and 12 days.[2][3][4]


According to a profile in the Miami Herald he fled civil war in Tajikistan in 1991, when he was just 13 years old.[5] Carol Rosenberg wrote that reviewing his files indicates he was a cooperative captive, who did not participate in the widespread hunger strikes, and that, unlike other captives, he participated in all his annual status reviews. In 2009, the Obama government decided they would no longer claim Omar was an enemy combatant. Omar is one of the Guantanamo captives who, even though they have been cleared for release, would rather stay in Guantanamo, than be repatriated, to his home country, because he fears torture.

Habeas corpus petition[edit]

Abdulayev had a writ of habeas corpus filed on his behalf. It was amalgamated with several dozen other captives, in 05-CV-2386 before US District Court Judge Reggie B. Walton.

On 29 December 2008 Allison M. Lefrak filed protected information, under seal, on his behalf.[6]

Still in Guantanamo[edit]

Carol Rosenberg, writing in the Miami Herald, reports that Umar Abdulayev fears being repatriated to Tajikistan, and wants to remain in Guantanamo.[5] Quoting Abdulayev's lawyer Matthew J. O'Hara, Rosenberg reported Abdulayev was a refugee who had fled Tajikistan to Afghanistan when he was thirteen years old. Rosenberg wrote that Abdulayev says camp authorities allowed Tajikistani security officials to meet with him, and that they told him he could be released—if he agreed to pretend to be a Muslim militant, and spy on Muslim militants in Tajikistan. She reported that the Tajikistani security officials threatened retribution when he declined to serve as a spy. Department of Justice officials told U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton on June 3, 2009 that they would no longer try to defend classifying him an enemy combatant.[5]

Abdulayev's lawyer, Matthew J. O'Hara, during a November 2009 interview on National Public Radio, that among the reasons Abdulayev fears repatriation to Tajikistan is that the family he left behind in a Pakistani refugee camp has disappeared.[7] All efforts to contact them, following his 2001 capture, had failed. O'Hara said Abdulayev's father died in 1994, attempting to return to Tajikistan. O'Hara said two of the other Tajikistanis received long prison terms following their repatriation.


External links[edit]