Abdul Rahman Shalabi

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Abdul Rahman Shalabi
ISN 00042, Abdul Shalabi.jpg
Abdul Shalabi's official Guantanamo portrait, showing him wearing the orange uniform issued to "noncompliant" individuals
Detained at Guantanamo
ISN 42
Charge(s) no charge, held in extrajudicial detention
Status approved for release or transfer

Abdul Rahman Shalabi is a citizen of Saudi Arabia held in extrajudicial detention in the United States Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba.[1] His Guantanamo Internee Security Number is 42.

Shalabi arrived on January 11, 2002, the day the camp opened, and he was released on September 21, 2015.[2][3] He is regularly described as an Osama bin Laden bodyguard and a member of al Qaeda—accusations he consistently disputed.

Official status reviews[edit]

Originally the Bush Presidency asserted that captives apprehended in the "war on terror" were not covered by the Geneva Conventions, and could be held indefinitely, without charge, and without an open and transparent review of the justifications for their detention.[4] In 2004 the United States Supreme Court ruled, in Rasul v. Bush, that Guantanamo captives were entitled to being informed of the allegations justifying their detention, and were entitled to try to refute them.

Office for the Administrative Review of Detained Enemy Combatants[edit]

Combatant Status Review Tribunals were held in a 3x5 meter trailer where the captive sat with his hands and feet shackled to a bolt in the floor.[5][6]

Following the Supreme Court's ruling the Department of Defense set up the Office for the Administrative Review of Detained Enemy Combatants.[4][7] Scholars at the Brookings Institution, led by Benjamin Wittes, listed the captives still held in Guantanamo in December 2008, according to whether their detention was justified by certain common allegations:[8]

  • Abdul Rahman Shalabi was listed as one of the captives who "The military alleges ... are members of Al Qaeda."[8]
  • Abdul Rahman Shalabi was listed as one of the captives who "The military alleges ... took military or terrorist training in Afghanistan."[8]
  • Abdul Rahman Shalabi was listed as one of the captives who "The military alleges ... fought for the Taliban."[8]
  • Abdul Rahman Shalabi was listed as one of the captives who "The military alleges ... were at Tora Bora."[8]
  • Abdul Rahman Shalabi was listed as one of the captives whose "names or aliases were found on material seized in raids on Al Qaeda safehouses and facilities."[8]
  • Abdul Rahman Shalabi was listed as one of the captives who "The military alleges ... served on Osama Bin Laden’s security detail."[8]
  • Abdul Rahman Shalabi was listed as one of the captives who was ab "al Qaeda operative".[8]
  • Abdul Rahman Shalabi was listed as one of the "82 detainees made no statement to CSRT or ARB tribunals or made statements that do not bear materially on the military’s allegations against them."[8]


Habeas corpus petition[edit]

A writ of habeas corpus, Abdul Rahman Shalabi v. George W. Bush, was submitted on Abdul Rahman Shalabi's behalf.[9] In response, on 19 May 2005, the Department of Defense released eighteen pages of unclassified documents related to his Combatant Status Review Tribunal.

On 5 November 2004 Tribunal panel 19 convened, and confirmed his "enemy combatant" status, based on classified "evidence".

Detainee election form[edit]

The Detainee election form prepared by his Personal Representative record they met, for fifteen minutes, for a pre-Tribunal interview, at 8:15 am on 4 November 2004, the day before the Tribunal convened. It records:

Detainee will not participate. He affirmatively declined to participate and to have the PR represent him. He was silent throughout the reading of the script until he was asked if he wanted to participate. He then affirmatively declined, indicating that he did not trust the PR as he did not know him, did not trust the process as it is another game the US is playing.

Recorder exhibit list[edit]

The documents released in response to the habeas corpus petition contained a Recorder exhibit list.

Recorder Exhibit List For # 042
# Title Classification
RI Unclassified Summary UNCLASSIFIED
R2 FBI Certification Re: Redaction of National Security Information dtd dtd 27 OCT 04 UNCLASSIFIED
R3 FBI 302 did 16 MAR 02 FOUO//LES
R4 FBI 302 (000055DP) did 29 AUG 02 FOUO//LES
R5 FBI 302 (000252) did 17 MAY 03 FOUO//LES
R6 IIR 6 034 0743 03 SECRET//NOFORN
R7 CITF FM 40 (001452DP) dtd 14 JUN 04 SECRET//NOFORN
R8 CITF FM 40 (001457DP) dtd 15 JUN 04 SECRET//NOFORN
R9 Knowledgeability Brief dtd 01 FEB 02 SECRET
R10 CITF Recommendation Memo dtd 26 APR 04 SECRET//NOFORN
Rll JTF GTMO Baseball Card SECRET//NOFORN
R12 IIR 6 034 0993 03 SECRET//NOFORN

The Military Commissions Act of 2006 mandated that Guantanamo captives were no longer entitled to access the US civil justice system, so all outstanding habeas corpus petitions were stayed.

On June 12, 2008, the United States Supreme Court ruled, in Boumediene v. Bush, that the Military Commissions Act could not remove the right for Guantanamo captives to access the US Federal Court system. And all previous Guantanamo captives' habeas petitions were eligible to be re-instated.

On July 18, 2008, Julia Tarver Mason filed a motion to renew Abdul Rahman Shalabi's habeas corpus petition.[10] The petition states that five other Saudi citizens who had been part of the original 2005 petition had been repatriated to Saudi Arabia. Their names were listed as: Saleh Al-Oshan, Zaben Al Shammari, Abdullah Al Otaibi, Fahd Nasser Mohamed and Musa Al Wahab.

The petition stated that the files the Department of Defense provided to his attorney's were incomplete:[10]

The factual return provided in May 2005, however, is incomplete and missing important substantive information about Shalabi and the evidence against him. Nor has the factual return been supplemented to include the record of further proceedings such as Administrative Review Board records. The complete classified and unredacted factual returns and the classified records of the Administrative Review Board will be necessary in pursuing the case.

The petition states that Shalabi was the subject of a 30-day notice.[10] The Department of Defense has transferred some captives who had habeas corpus petitions filed on their behalf to the custody of regimes where their lawyers felt their safety would be at risk. In response attorneys filed motions that the Department of Defense should advise them of plans to transfer captives' custody.

Formerly secret Joint Task Force Guantanamo assessment[edit]

On April 25, 2011, whistleblower organization WikiLeaks published formerly secret assessments drafted by Joint Task Force Guantanamo analysts.[11][12] A Joint Task Force Guantanamo detainee assessment was drafted on May 14, 2008.[13] It was eleven pages long and was signed by camp commandant Rear Admiral David M. Thomas Jr. He recommended continued detention.

Guantanamo 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.[14][15][16] 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.[17] Abdul Rahman Shalabi 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.

Periodic Review Board[edit]

Shalabi had a Periodic Review Board hearing convened for him on April 21, 2015.[18] [18]

On June 15 his Board drafted recommendation that he be released from Guantanamo. Carol Rosenberg, of the Miami Herald, was the first to report on this recommendation.

[19]

Long term hunger striker[edit]

Abdul Rahman Shalabi weight was recorded at least 217 times between his arrival and December 2006.

In May 2008 the Gulf News reported that Abdul Rahman Shalabi and Ahmad Zaid Salem Zuhair were the two remaining captives who have been on the hunger strike that started in August 2005.[20] No weights have been published for the first three months of the hunger strike—during which time he lost 26 pounds.[21] From then on his weight was recorded every three or four days. His height was recorded as 68 inches, putting the healthy range for his height at between 118 and 160 pounds.

On September 26, 2009, Shalabi drafted a letter describing medical problems being made worse through medical decisions being countermanded by a new "officer in charge".[22][23] On November 3, 2009 the Associated Press reported that a recent affidavit from David Wright the chief doctor at Guantanamo, stated Shalabi's weight had dropped to 49 kilograms (108 lb).[24] Julie Mason Tarver, one of his attorneys, claimed he was just a few pounds away from organ failure. Wright confirmed Shalabi's weight was recorded at 61 kilograms (134 lb) in May 2009. According to the Associated Press 29 other captives were participating in the hunger strike in late October 2009. An affidavit from Sondra Crosby, a Professor at Boston University's School of Medicine who examined Shalabi at the request of his attorneys, stated: "It is uncontested that Mr. Shalabi needs to be fed more calories, otherwise he will die." She said his weight loss could be due to other causes like hyperthyroidism, cancer or infection.

Shalabi's letter describes his force-feeding leaving him in great pain.[22][23] He describes the most recent officier in charge countermanding the decision to provide screens for the lights that shine in his eyes, and leave him with excruciating headaches.

Release from Guantanamo Bay[edit]

On April 21, 2015 Shalabi had a Periodic Review Board hearing convened for him.[18] On June 15 his Board drafted recommendation that he be released from Guantanamo. Carol Rosenberg, of the Miami Herald, was the first to report on this recommendation.[19]

On June 26, 2015 it was announced that the Periodic Review Board approved Abdul Rahman Shalabi for release from the detention center, and that he can return to Saudi Arabia.[25][26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ OARDEC. "List of Individuals Detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba from January 2002 through May 15, 2006" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2006-05-15.  Works related to List of Individuals Detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba from January 2002 through May 15, 2006 at Wikisource
  2. ^ "Measurements of Heights and Weights of Individuals Detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (ordered and consolidated version)" (PDF). Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas, from DoD data. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-11-09. Additional archives: 2009-12-21.
  3. ^ Adam Goldman (2015-09-22). "Once deemed too dangerous to release, Saudi detainee at Guantanamo Bay prison has been repatriated". Washington Post. Retrieved 2015-09-24. 
  4. ^ a b "U.S. military reviews 'enemy combatant' use". USA Today. 2007-10-11. Archived from the original on 2012-08-11. Critics called it an overdue acknowledgment that the so-called Combatant Status Review Tribunals are unfairly geared toward labeling detainees the enemy, even when they pose little danger. Simply redoing the tribunals won't fix the problem, they said, because the system still allows coerced evidence and denies detainees legal representation. 
  5. ^ Guantánamo Prisoners Getting Their Day, but Hardly in Court, New York Times, November 11, 2004 - mirror
  6. ^ Inside the Guantánamo Bay hearings: Barbarian "Justice" dispensed by KGB-style "military tribunals", Financial Times, December 11, 2004
  7. ^ "Q&A: What next for Guantanamo prisoners?". BBC News. 2002-01-21. Archived from the original on 23 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-24. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i Benjamin Wittes, Zaathira Wyne (2008-12-16). "The Current Detainee Population of Guantánamo: An Empirical Study" (PDF). The Brookings Institution. Retrieved 2010-02-16.  mirror
  9. ^ "Abdul Rahman Shalabi v. George W. Bush" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. 19 May 2005. pp. pages 40–57. Retrieved 2008-05-05. 
  10. ^ a b c "Guantanamo Bay Detainee Litigation: Doc 137 -- Status Report" (PDF). United States Department of Justice. 2008-07-18. Retrieved 2008-08-17. 
  11. ^ Christopher Hope; Robert Winnett; Holly Watt; Heidi Blake (2011-04-27). "WikiLeaks: Guantanamo Bay terrorist secrets revealed -- Guantanamo Bay has been used to incarcerate dozens of terrorists who have admitted plotting terrifying attacks against the West – while imprisoning more than 150 totally innocent people, top-secret files disclose". The Telegraph (UK). Archived from the original on 2012-07-13. Retrieved 2012-07-13. The Daily Telegraph, along with other newspapers including The Washington Post, today exposes America’s own analysis of almost ten years of controversial interrogations on the world’s most dangerous terrorists. This newspaper has been shown thousands of pages of top-secret files obtained by the WikiLeaks website. 
  12. ^ "WikiLeaks: The Guantánamo files database". The Telegraph (UK). 2011-04-27. Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  13. ^ "Abd Al Rahman Shalbi Isa Uwaydah: Guantanamo Bay detainee file on Abd Al Rahman Shalbi Isa Uwaydah, US9SA-000042DP, passed to the Telegraph by Wikileaks". The Telegraph (UK). 2011-04-27. Retrieved 2015-06-26. 
  14. ^ 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. 
  15. ^ 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. 
  16. ^ 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. 
  17. ^ "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. 
  18. ^ a b c "Periodic Review Secretariat: Review Information". Periodic Review Secretariat. Archived from the original on 2013-12-30. 
  19. ^ a b Carol Rosenberg (2015-04-21). "Guantánamo's 9-year hunger striker asks to go home". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 2015-04-22. 
  20. ^ "Saudi vows to stay on hunger strike at Guantanamo". Gulf News. 2008-05-23. Archived from the original on 2008-10-02. Retrieved 2008-10-02. 
  21. ^ JTF-GTMO (2007-03-16). "Measurements of Heights and Weights of Individuals Detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba: ISNs 2-57" (PDF). Department of Defense. Archived from the original on 2008-12-23. Retrieved 2008-12-22. 
  22. ^ a b Jay Carmella (2009-11-09). "Guantanamo detainee: conditions have declined under Obama administration". The Jurist. Archived from the original on 2009-11-10. 
  23. ^ a b Abdul Rahman Shalabi (2009-09-26). "Abdul Rahman Shalabi v. Obama" (PDF). United States Department of Justice. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-11-10. 
  24. ^ Ben Fox (2009-11-03). "Guantanamo hunger striker losing weight". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2009-11-05. 
  25. ^ "Guantanamo prisoner on long hunger strike to be sent home". The Garden Island. 2015-06-26. 
  26. ^ "Guantánamo prisoner on nine-year hunger strike will be released". The Guardian. 2015-06-26.