Hamidullah (Guantanamo Bay detainee 1119)

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Hamidullah
Detained at Guantanamo
Alternate name Qari Hamdullah
Hamid al Razak
Hamid Allah Mowlowi Saedara Saed Abd Al Razak
ISN 1119
Charge(s) No charge, held in extrajudicial detention

Hamidullah is a citizen of Afghanistan, who was held in extrajudicial detention in the United States's Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba.[1] His Guantanamo Internee Security Number is 1119. Joint Task Force Guantanamo counter-terrorism analysts estimate he was born in 1963, in Kabul, Afghanistan.

He was transferred to the United Arab Emirates on August 15, 2016.[2][3]

A senior Taliban leader, also named Hamidullah[disambiguation needed], surrendered on 24 November 2001.[4]

According to a widely republished Associated Press article:[5]

  • ...was accused of having ties to Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin
  • ...claimed he had been imprisoned by the Taliban, and had escaped and had been living as a refugee in Pakistan.
  • ...blamed his capture on false denunciations prompted by his support for the return of former King Zahir Shah

Inconsistent identification[edit]

He was identified inconsistently on official US Government documents.

Combatant Status Review Tribunal[edit]

Combatant Status Review Tribunals were held in a 3 x 5 meter trailer. The captive sat with his hands and feet shackled to a bolt in the floor.[10][11] Three chairs were reserved for members of the press, but only 37 of the 574 Tribunals were observed.[12]

Initially the Bush administration asserted that they could withhold all the protections of the Geneva Conventions to captives from the war on terror. This policy was challenged before the Judicial branch. Critics argued that the USA could not evade its obligation to conduct competent tribunals to determine whether captives are, or are not, entitled to the protections of prisoner of war status.

Subsequently, the Department of Defense instituted the Combatant Status Review Tribunals. The Tribunals, however, were not authorized to determine whether the captives were lawful combatants—rather they were merely empowered to make a recommendation as to whether the captive had previously been correctly determined to match the Bush administration's definition of an enemy combatant.

Summary of Evidence memo[edit]

A Summary of Evidence memo was prepared for Hamidullah Haji Combatant Status Review Tribunal on 12 November 2004.[6] The memo listed the following allegations:

a. The detainee is associated with al Qaida:
  1. The detainee has long established ties to HIG
  2. HiG is a terrorist organization
  3. The detainee was reported absent from a HiG leadership meeting conducted after his capture.
  4. The detainee controlled a cache of weapons, including Kalashnikov rifles, machine guns, RPG's and rockets.
  5. The detainee was captured in the home of an al Qaida financier.
b. The detainee supported hostilities in aid of enemy armed forces:
  1. The detainee reportedly led a group of 30 men who conspired to attack coalition forces in the vicinity of Kabul, Afghanistan.

Transcript[edit]

Hamidullah chose to participate in his Combatant Status Review Tribunal.[13]

Testimony[edit]

Hamidullah acknowledged being a member of HIG, but fifteen years ago, during his youth; elder members of his family pushed him into it. He had served under a commander named Abdul Khadar. It was during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and everyone joined one or another of the groups resisting the Soviets. When the Taliban came to power he cut all ties with HiG.

He said he thought the Taliban would bring unity to Afghanistan, and the tribal and regional wars would disappear, and had gone to enlist with them. But they threw him in prison, because of his earlier association with HiG.

He denied that he controlled a weapons cache. He stated that he was illiterate, and this would have barred him from such an important task.

He said he was not arrested in the home of an al Qaida financier. He said he was arrested in a house where he had been told to stay by Mullah Izat, a Northern Alliance commander, when he had returned to Afghanistan. After he escaped from the Taliban he and his family had been staying in Pakistan, as refugees, during the Taliban's time in power.

He said that he had some responsibilities for a group of fighters - but fifteen years ago, during the Soviet occupation. And he had not been that group's commander, but rather he was the one sent to the market to shop for foodstuff.

He said that when the Americans evicted the Taliban he wanted to work to help bring former king Zahir Shah back to power. He said he made contact with General Rahim Wardak. He said Defense Minister Fahim Khan and Besmil Khan, the commander of the Northern Alliance sent him a message:

"...don’t do this; we are mujahedin, and the King is a Western guy, and we don’t need him. This won’t be good for your future."

He had once attended a speech by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the founder of HiG. But he had never met him.

When told that the Tribunal was going to go into closed session, to consider the classified evidence, he was asked if there was anything he said during any of his interrogations that he wanted to expand on, or correct. He replied that the allegations about storing weapons and about the leadership meeting were new. He had never been asked about them during his interrogations.

The Tribunal officers commented on his willingness to cooperate, and asked why he was wearing an orange uniform.

Witness[edit]

His witness was Nasrat Khan. Khan testified that he had known Hamidullah's father in the HiG. That he met Hamidullah when he joined, as a teenager. And that he remembered Hamidullah's desertion.

Hamidullah's orange uniform[edit]

Hamidullah's Tribunal officers asked him to explain why he was wearing an orange uniform—the uniform issued to Guantanamo captives regarded as "non-compliant".

Q: I wonder why you're still wearing an orange uniform, and are not wearing a white or tan uniform.
A: Yes, I've only been in this [color] two days.
Q: What color were you before?
A: White. I argued with some guys; one guy was bad, but I was bad too because I should've shut my mouth.
Q: One dispute, and you're in orange?
A: Yes, the military's very strict, but that is not a big problem. When I met the Personal Representative, I was in white clothes; I never lied to you, and everything I say I have evidence (for).
Q: The dispute you recently had that caused you to change uniform colors; was it with other Detainees?
A: Yes, with another Detainee. He started it first, and he was bad, but I was bad, too. I should keep my mouth shut. It's hard when you're wrongfully imprisoned; sometimes I think of my kids and family, and get upset.

Habeas petition 05-cv-1691[edit]

Several petitions of habeas corpus were filed on Hamidullah's behalf, including 05-cv-1601 and 05-CV-1691.[8][14][15][16][17] In September 2007 the Department of Defense published the unclassified dossiers arising from the Combatant Status Review Tribunals of 179 captives.[18] The Department of Defense published 37 pages from his Tribunal.

On December 2, 2006 one of Hamidullah's habeas corpus hearings stirred controversy when the Bush administration tried to prohibit attorneys from contacting him.[16][17]

Tribunal panel 12 convened on 13 December 2004 and confirmed his "enemy combatant" status.[15]

Detainee election form[edit]

His Personal Representative met with him for 43 minutes on 11 December 2004. His Personal Representative's notes state:[15]

  • Detainee wants to appear to the tribunal.
  • Detainee wants to make an oral statement.
  • Detainee requested and TP approved 2 witnesses:
    • 1 in-camp witness: Haji Nasrat Khan (camp 4; ISN 1009)
    • 1 out-of-camp witness: Mullah Hazet (District of Pahgman, Kabul AF)
  • The in-camp witness (1009) told me he did not wish to appear before the tribunal on account of his health, but would provide a statement for the tribunal (to be submitted as Exhibit D-b).

Administrative Review Board hearings[edit]

Hearing room where Guantanamo captive's annual Administrative Review Board hearings convened for captives whose Combatant Status Review Tribunal had already determined they were an "enemy combatant".[19]

Detainees who were determined to have been properly classified as "enemy combatants" were scheduled to have their dossier reviewed at annual Administrative Review Board hearings. The Administrative Review Boards weren't authorized to review whether a detainee qualified for POW status, and they weren't authorized to review whether a detainee should have been classified as an "enemy combatant".

They were authorized to consider whether a detainee should continue to be detained by the United States, because they continued to pose a threat—or whether they could safely be repatriated to the custody of their home country, or whether they could be set free.

First annual Administrative Review Board hearning[edit]

A Summary of Evidence memo was prepared for Haji Hamidullah's first annual Administrative Review Board on 5 August 2005. [7] The two page memo listed ten "primary factors favor[ing] continued detention" and one "primary factors favor[ing] release or transfer".

The following primary factors favor continued detention[edit]

a. Commitment
  1. The detainee was a member of the Hizb-I Islami Gulbuddin (HIG) during the jihad. He served with the HIG before the Taliban regime took over.
  2. The Hizb-I Islami Gulbuddin (HIG) was founded by Gulbuddin Hikmatyar as a faction of the Hizb-I Islami party in 1977. It was one of the major mujahedin groups in the war against the Soviets. HIG has long-established ties with Usama Bin Laden.
b. Connections/Associations
  1. The detainee was a member of the Mahaz-e Melli Tanzim.
  2. The Mahaz-e Melli Tanzim attempted to recruit and organize supporters in Kabul, Afghanistan, following the fall of the Taliban. King Zahir Shah intended to establish a post-Taliban government for the purpose of rebuilding the war torn nation.
  3. In 2003, the detainee was a HIG commander who worked directly for Abu Bakr, the alleged highest-ranking HIG commander in Kabul. The detainee controlled a large weapons cache in Kabul.
  4. The detainee was reported to be one of the heads of the Psychological Operations Wing of the HIG.
  5. The detainee was captured in August 2003, in Kabul, in one of the homes owned by Raouf.
c. Detainee Actions and Statements
In May 2003, the detainee was the commander of 30 men, with ties to the Taliban, who were planning an attack on an Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS) unit in the vicinity of Kabul City, Afghanistan.
d. Other Relevant Data
  1. As a known HIG member, the detainee was arrested by the Taliban and placed in jail. He spent 23 months in jail before escaping to Pakistan.
  2. In November 2001, while attempting to recruit and organize supporters for Shah and the Mahaz-e Melli, Afghanistan, the Northern Alliance arrested the detainee, however the detainee escaped.

The following primary factors favor release or transfer[edit]

a. The detainee claimed he is friendly to the United States and turned to the Islamic faith as being a reason not to kill.

Transcript[edit]

Hamidullah chose to participate in his Administrative Review Board hearing.[20]

Hamidullah's statement[edit]

Hamidullah spoke at length about the problems that had beset Afghanistan because of the armed struggle between different groups. He decried how Afghanistan had become the world's training ground for terrorism and suicide bombers. He decried those who used suicide bombers, and expressed suspicion over their true motives.

He described how he wanted to work for a strong, unified, popular tolerant, democratic government. He welcomed the intercession of the United Nations and the United States. He said: "With this new conditions under the United States and United Nations, whoever were a true patriot...whoever was [a] supporter of humanity and human rights and he wanted to rebuild Afghanistan. He [would] supported the new government..."

He said that after the United States intervention some of their nominal allies worked, under the table, to hurt the new regime and cause chaos. He believed Burhanuddin Rabbani, Abdul Rasul Sayyaf and Mohammed Fahim, were among those who did not have the best interests of the new regime at heart. He expressed his suspicions that the Russians were backing the chaos-sowers.

Second annual Administrative Review Board hearning[edit]

A Summary of Evidence memo was prepared for Haji Hamidullah's second annual Administrative Review Board on 26 March 2006.[21]

The following primary factors favor continued detention[edit]

The two page memo listed eight "primary factors favor[ing] continued detention" and two "primary factors favor[ing] release or transfer".

a. Commitment
  1. The detainee was a member of the Hezb-I Islami Gulbuddin for 10 years.
  2. In November 2001, the detainee attempted to recruit and organize supporters for the Shah and the Mahaz-e Melli in Kabul. The Northern Alliance arrested the detainee because of these efforts; however, the detainee escaped.
  3. The detainee was arrested by the Taliban and placed in jail due to his affiliation with the Hezb-I Islami Gulbuddin. He spent 23 months in jail before escaping to Pakistan.
  4. The detainee secretely recruited and organized members of the Mahaz-e Melli group. Consequently, rumors were spread throughout Kabul accusing the detainee of being involved with the Taliban and al Qaeda.
b. Connections/Associations
  1. The Hezb-I Islami Gulbuddin was founded by Gulbuddin Hikmatyar as a faction of the Heab-I Islami party in 1977. It was one of the major Mujahedin groups in the war against the Soviets and has long-established ties with Usama bin Laden.
  2. The detainee was captured in August 2003, in Kabul, in a home owned by an al Qaida financier.
  3. The detainee was identified as an Iranian intelligence officer. The reliability of the source is not determined.
c. Intent
A source named the detainee as the commander of 30 men, with ties to the Taliban, planning an attack on an Afghan National Directorate of Security unit near Kabul.

The following primary factors favor release or transfer[edit]

a. The detainee states that the only reason he worked for the Hezb-I Islami Gulbuddin was that they would provide food and money for the member and their families.
b. The detainee claimed he is friendly to the United States and turned to the Islamic faith as being a reason not to kill.

Transcript[edit]

In September 2007 the Department of Defense published a sixteen-page summarized transcript from the unclassified session of his second Administrative Review Board hearing.[22]

Enemy Combatant election form[edit]

Hamidullah's Assisting Military Officer reported on the notes from the Enemy Combatant election form completed on 4 April 2006. They met for sixty minutes for a pre-hearing interview. His Assisting Military Officer described him as "very cooperative and attentive" during the interview.

HIG identification[edit]

Hamidullah explained that for refugees in Pakistan to receive food aid they needed to have an ID card. Militia groups, like the HIG, issued ID cards. Possessing one of these cards did not imply membership in the militia. He estimated that more than two million refugees had been issued HIG ID cards.

Habeas corpus 05-cv-1601[edit]

Civil Action No. 05-cv-1601 was re-initiated in late 2008.

Military Commissions Act[edit]

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.[23]

Boumediene v. Bush[edit]

On 12 June 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. The judges considering the captives' habeas petitions would be considering whether the evidence used to compile the allegations the men and boys were enemy combatants justified a classification of "enemy combatant".[24]

Protective order[edit]

On 15 July 2008 Kristine A. Huskey filed a "NOTICE OF PETITIONERS’ REQUEST FOR 30-DAYS NOTICE OF TRANSFER" on behalf of several dozen captives including Hamidullah.[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "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. 2006-05-15. Retrieved 2006-05-15. 
  2. ^ Camila Domonoske (2016-08-16). "15 Guantanamo Bay Detainees Transferred To United Arab Emirates". National Public Radio. Two of the Afghan prisoners — Mohammed Kamin and Obaidallah, who only has one name — had been briefly charged in a military commission, The Miami Herald reports. The war crimes prosecutor dropped those charges. 
  3. ^ Benjamin Wittes (2016-08-16). "A Big Guantanamo Transfer: Progress Towards the Site's Obsolescence". Lawfare. 
  4. ^ Taliban in north surrender in droves, CNN, 24 November 2001
  5. ^ Sketches of Guantanamo detainees-Part I, Associated Press, 15 March 2006
  6. ^ a b OARDEC (2004-11-12). "Summary of Evidence for Combatant Status Review Tribunal -- Haji, Hamidullah" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. p. page 29. Retrieved 2008-09-28. 
  7. ^ a b OARDEC (2005-08-05). "Unclassified Summary of Evidence for Administrative Review Board in the case of Haji Hamidullah" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. pp. pages 85–86. Retrieved 2008-09-28. 
  8. ^ a b Shayana D. Kadidal (18 July 2008). "Guantanamo Bay Detainee Litigation: Doc 153 -- Status Report" (PDF). United States Department of Justice. Retrieved 2008-09-28. The above-captioned case was dismissed without prejudice on 12 April 2007, as a likely duplicate of petitioner Hamid Allah Mowlowi Saedara Saed Abd Al Razak, ISN 1119, who has a pending habeas corpus petition, 05-CV-1601.  mirror
  9. ^ "FNU Hamidullah v. George W. Bush" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. 2006-12-06. pp. pages 1–37. Retrieved 2008-09-28. 
  10. ^ Guantánamo Prisoners Getting Their Day, but Hardly in Court, New York Times, 11 November 2004 - mirror
  11. ^ Inside the Guantánamo Bay hearings: Barbarian "Justice" dispensed by KGB-style "military tribunals", Financial Times, 11 December 2004
  12. ^ "Annual Administrative Review Boards for Enemy Combatants Held at Guantanamo Attributable to Senior Defense Officials". United States Department of Defense. March 6, 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-22. 
  13. ^ OARDEC (date redacted). "Summarized Unsworn Detainee Statement" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. pp. pages 89–101. Retrieved 2009-02-23.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  14. ^ Gladys Kessler (2006-12-01). "Hamid al Razak v. George W. Bush -- Civil Action No. 05-cv-1601" (PDF). United States Department of Justice. Retrieved 2008-09-28. 
  15. ^ a b c "FNU Hamidullah et al. v. George W. Bush -- Civil Action No. 05-cv-1691" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. 2006-12-06. pp. pages 1–37. Retrieved 2008-09-28. 
  16. ^ a b John Heilprin (2006-12-02). "Guantanamo Inmates Turn to Freed Fellows". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-09-28. Like more than a hundred enemy combatants held without charges at the Navy's Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, Hamid Al Razak of Afghanistan turned to a fellow prisoner for legal help.  mirror
  17. ^ a b Carol D. Leonnig (2006-12-04). "A Judge's Sharp Opinion". Washington Post. p. A17. Retrieved 2008-09-28.  mirror
  18. ^ OARDEC (8 August 2007). "Index for CSRT Records Publicly Files in Guantanamo Detainee Cases" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. Retrieved 2007-09-29. 
  19. ^ (Spc Timothy Book (March 10, 2006). "Review process unprecedented" (PDF). The Wire (JTF-GTMO). p. 1. Retrieved 2007-10-12. 
  20. ^ Summarized transcript (.pdf), from Haji Hamidullah's Administrative Review Board hearing - page 242
  21. ^ OARDEC (2006-03-26). "Unclassified Summary of Evidence for Administrative Review Board in the case of Haji Hamidullah" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. pp. pages 59–60. Retrieved 2008-09-28. 
  22. ^ OARDEC (date redacted). "Summary of Administrative Review Proceedings for ISN 1119" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. pp. pages 96–111. Retrieved 2008-09-28.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  23. ^ Peter D. Keisler, Douglas N. Letter (2006-10-16). "NOTICE OF MILITARY COMMISSIONS ACT OF 2006" (PDF). United States Department of Justice. Retrieved 2008-09-30.  mirror
  24. ^ Farah Stockman (2008-10-24). "Lawyers debate 'enemy combatant'". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-10-24.  mirror
  25. ^ Kristine A. Huskey (2008-07-15). "Guantanamo Bay Detainee Litigation: Doc 63 -- NOTICE OF PETITIONERS’ REQUEST FOR 30-DAYS NOTICE OF TRANSFER" (PDF). United States Department of Justice. Retrieved 2008-11-13.  mirror