Arkin Mahmud

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Arkin Mahmud
Born (1964-07-01)July 1, 1964
Ghulja, China
Detained at Guantanamo
ISN 103
Charge(s) No charge (unlawfully detained)
Status Transferred to Switzerland
Children two

Arkin Mahmud is an Uyghur refugee best known for the seven and a half years he spent in the United States Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba.[1]

Joint Task Force Guantanamo counter-terrorism analysts reports Mahmud was born on July 1, 1964, in Ghulja, China.

Arkin traveled to Afghanistan in order to look for his younger brother Bahtiyar Mahnut.[2] He is one of approximately twenty-two captives from the Uighur ethnic group.[3] By the summer of 2009 Arkin's mental health had deteriorated so profoundly he wasn't offered sanctuary in Palau. For some time in 2005 during his stay in Guantanamo he was held in solitary confinement.

He won his habeas corpus in 2008. Judge Ricardo Urbina declared his detention as unlawful and ordered to set him free in the United States.

Until his transfer to Switzerland on March 23, 2010 Arkin Mahmud had been held at Guantanamo for more than seven and a half years despite it became clear early on that he like the other Uyghurs in Guantanamo was innocent.[4]

Writ of habeas corpus[edit]

A writ of habeas corpus, Arkina Amahmud v. George W. Bush, was submitted on Arkina Amahmud's behalf.[5]

Mental health[edit]

In July 2009 the Pacific Ocean country of Palau offered sanctuary to all the remaining Uyghur captives in Guantanamo, except Arkin.[2] Arkin's younger brother Bahtiyar declined the invitation of sanctuary in Palau in order to stay with Arkin. Due to reports from camp guards that Arkin had broken the camp's rules from 2005 he was held in isolation from other captives.

Arkin told Elizabeth Gibson, his habeas counsel, "I know I'll die in here. In China, at least I would have a trial and sentence."[2]

Granted asylum in Switzerland[edit]

Switzerland granted political asylum to Arkin Mahmud and Bahtiyar Mahnut on February 4, 2010.[6][7][8][9][10] Swiss authorities helped them settle in Canton of Jura. Historian Andy Worthington, author of The Guantanamo Files commented that Switzerland's grant of Asylum preserved the Obama Presidency from political embarrassment, because all the Uyghurs had been offered a new home, except for Arkin Mahmud, and that the Swiss offer of asylum would complicate the habeas petitions of the four remaining Uyghur captives who had declined to agree to accept refugee status in Palau.


  1. ^ OARDEC (May 15, 2006). "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 from the original (PDF) on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-29. 
  2. ^ a b c Del Quentin Wilber (2009-09-27). "2 Brothers' Grim Tale Of Loyalty And Limbo: To Leave Guantanamo Means Abandoning Family". Washington Post. 
  3. ^ "China's Uighurs trapped at Guantanamo". Asia Times. November 4, 2004. Retrieved 2008-03-28. 
  4. ^ "Arkin Mahmud - The Guantánamo Docket". The New York Times. 
  5. ^ "Arkina Amahmud v. George W. Bush" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. 20 September 2005. pp. 31–52. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 December 2007. Retrieved 2007-12-16. 
  6. ^ Andy Worthington (2010-02-04). "Swiss Take Two Guantánamo Uighurs, Save Obama from Having to Do the Right Thing". Archived from the original on 2010-10-05. Retrieved 2010-02-04. Not mentioned publicly was the fact that, until Jura accepted the men’s asylum claims, one of them, Arkin Mahmud, appeared to stuck at Guantánamo, his only way out being to hope that the Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the Uighurs’ case last year, would overturn last February’s appeals court ruling, and allow cleared prisoners who cannot be repatriated into the United States. 
  7. ^ "Ex-Guantanamo detainees thank Jura". World Radio Switzerland. 2010-10-04. Archived from the original on 2010-10-05. Retrieved 2010-10-05. They say that six months after their arrival in Switzerland, they are gradually acclimating to their new lives, but that the trauma of their experiences is still present. 
  8. ^ "Uighur brothers in jura six months later". World Radio Switzerland. 2010-10-04. Archived from the original on 2010-10-05. Retrieved 2010-10-05. Switzerland granted Arkin and Bahtiyar Mahmud asylum on humanitarian grounds. The brothers now live in canton Jura and, a short while ago, met the media for the first time. 
  9. ^ "Uighurs adjusting to new life in Switzerland". SwissInfo. 2010-10-04. Archived from the original on 2010-10-05. Retrieved 2010-10-05. The two Uighurs arrived in canton Jura on March 23 with one living in the town of Delémont and the other in Courroux. They were admitted to Switzerland on humanitarian grounds. 
  10. ^ Andy Worthington (2010-07-10). "Guantánamo Uighur Brothers "Happy" in Switzerland, But Struggling to Adapt to New Life". Archived from the original on 2010-10-11. Retrieved 2014-02.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)

External links[edit]