Mohammed Ali Abdullah Bwazir

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Mohammed Ali Abdullah Bwazir
ISN 00440, Mohammed Ali Fowza.jpg
Citizenship Yemen
ISN 440
Charge(s) extrajudicial detention
Status released

Mohammed Ali Abdullah Bwazir is a citizen of Yemen, once held in extrajudicial detention in the United States Guantanamo Bay detainment camps, in Cuba.[1] Bwazir's Guantanamo Internment Serial Number was 440. American intelligence analysts estimate he was born in 1980, in Howra, Yemen.

Bwazir arrived in Guantanamo on May 1, 2002.[2][3]

In December 2015 unnamed officials leaked that Congress had been given notice that 17 individuals would be transferred from Guantanamo starting in thirty days.[4] The US military planned to transfer the last three of those seventeen on January 21, 2016. Both his lawyers and military officials were surprised when Bwazir balked at the last moment, and declined repatriation.

On January 5, 2017 Bwazir and three other Yemeni men were transferred to Saudi Arabia.[5][6]

Hunger strike[edit]

The Washington Post reports that Bawazir's lawyers assert that Bawazir was one of those participating in the 2006 Guantanamo hunger strike, and that the new harsher procedures camp authorities instituted to break the hunger strike violated last fall's proscription on torture.[7]

Camp authorities have been force-feeding hunger strikers. In January 2006 camp authorities started using "restraint chairs" to feed detainees.[8]

The Center for Constitutional Rights quoted from the emergency injunction Bawazir's lawyers filed on his behalf, in reaction to what they described as the unnecessary violence of his force-feeding in the restraint chair:[9]

  • Forcibly strapped Mr. Bawazir into a restraint chair, tying his legs, arms, head, and midsection to the chair.
  • Inserted of a feeding tube that was larger than the tube that had previously been left in Mr. Bawazir's nose, increasing the pain of the insertion and extraction.
  • Poured four bottles of water into his stomach through the nasal gastric tube every time he was fed even though Mr. Bawazir has never refused to drink water by mouth.
  • Restrained Mr. Bawazir in the chair for extended periods at each feeding.
  • Denied Mr. Bawazir access to a toilet while he was restrained and then for an additional hour or more after he was released from the chair.
  • Placed Mr. Bawazir in solitary confinement.

Medical records show Bawazir's weight had dropped to 97 pounds, during the 140 days of his hunger strike.[10] Medical records show Bawazir was restrained in the chair longer than the manufacturer's directions.

Lieutenant Colonel Jeremy Martin asserted that the force-feedings were conducted humanely. He explained the extraordinary duration of the detainee's confinement to the restraint chair was due to the length of time the force-feeding took.

U.S. government lawyers argued that the bans on torture and cruel and unusual treatment didn't apply to captives in Guantánamo Bay.[11] Justice Gladys Kessler called the allegations "extremely disturbing".

On February 11, 2009 US District Court judge Gladys Kessler declined to bar the use of restraint chairs for force-feeding Mohammed Ali Abdullah Bawazir and Omar Khamis Bin Hamdoon.[12] Kessler's noted that Bawazir and Hamdoon petition stated that the use of the restraint chair was "tantamount to torture". But she stated the opinion that because she lacked the medical expertise to evaluate the position of the camp's medical authorities she lacked jurisdiction to rule on the petition.

According to the Agence France Presse Bawazir and Hamdoon were not opposed to being force fed. According to the Agence France Presse camp authorities are withholding medical treatment for their other ailments from the hunger strikers, in an attempt to pressure them to quit their strike.

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.[13] 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.[14][15]

Following the Supreme Court's ruling the Department of Defense set up the Office for the Administrative Review of Detained Enemy Combatants.[13][16]

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:[17]

habeas corpus[edit]

A habeas corpus petition was filed on Bwazir's behalf in 2005.[18]

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.[19][20] His 9 page Joint Task Force Guantanamo assessment was drafted on October 27, 2008.[21] It was signed by camp commandant Rear Admiral David M. Thomas Jr. He recommended continued detention.


  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)". Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas, from DoD data. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-12-21. Retrieved 2009-12-21. 
  3. ^ Margot Williams (2008-11-03). "Guantanamo Docket: Mohammed Ali Abdullah Bwazir". New York Times. Retrieved 2016-01-21. 
  4. ^ Charlie Savage (2016-01-21). "Guantánamo Detainee Refuses Offer of Release After 14 Years in Prison". New York Times. Retrieved 2016-01-21. The third — Mohammed Ali Abdullah Bwazir of Yemen — balked at the last minute, even though he has a history of hunger striking to protest his indefinite detention without trial. In recent days, Mr. Bwazir was “frightened” to leave the prison and go to a country where he has no family, his lawyer, John Chandler, said. The country has not been identified. 
  5. ^ Charlie Savage (2017-01-05). "4 Yemeni Detainees at Guantánamo Are Transferred to Saudi Arabia". Washington DC: New York Times. Retrieved 2017-01-05. The Pentagon announced on Thursday that it had transferred four Yemeni detainees from the wartime prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, to Saudi Arabia, beginning an expected flurry of transfers in the waning days of the Obama administration. 
  6. ^ "US sends 4 held at Guantanamo to Saudi Arabia in final push". Miami, Florida: Miami Herald. 2017-01-05. Archived from the original on 2017-01-06. Retrieved 2017-01-06. The four include Mohammed Ali Abdullah Bwazir, who refused to leave Guantanamo in January 2016 as two other prisoners were being resettled in the Balkans because he wanted to be sent to a country where he had family. 
  7. ^ Guantanamo Force-Feeding Tactics Are Called Torture, Washington Post, February 28, 2006
  8. ^ First Violation of McCain Torture Amendment Alleged in Emergency Injunction , Common Dreams, February 28, 2006
  9. ^ First Violation of McCain Torture Amendment Alleged in Emergency Injunction: Attorneys File to End Further Torture of Guantánamo Detainee on Hunger Strike, Center for Constitutional Rights, February 27, 2006
  10. ^ Gitmo Prisoner Says Strikers Force-Fed, ABC News, February 9, 2006
  11. ^ U.S. Cites Exception in Torture Ban: McCain Law May Not Apply to Cuba Prison, Washington Post, March 3, 2006
  12. ^ "Judge silent on Guantanamo force feeding case". Agence France Presse. 2009-02-11. Archived from the original on 2009-02-11. Retrieved 2009-02-11. 
  13. ^ 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. 
  14. ^ Guantánamo Prisoners Getting Their Day, but Hardly in Court, New York Times, November 11, 2004 - mirror Archived 2007-09-30 at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ Inside the Guantánamo Bay hearings: Barbarian "Justice" dispensed by KGB-style "military tribunals", Financial Times, December 11, 2004
  16. ^ "Q&A: What next for Guantanamo prisoners?". BBC News. 2002-01-21. Archived from the original on 24 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-24. 
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Benjamin Wittes, Zaathira Wyne (2008-12-16). "The Current Detainee Population of Guantánamo: An Empirical Study". The Brookings Institution. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-06-22. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  18. ^ "Sabry Mohammed Ebrahim a Quarashi v. Barack Obama et al" (PDF). Department of Justice. 2009-12-18. Retrieved 2016-01-21. 
  19. ^ 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. 
  20. ^ "WikiLeaks: The Guantánamo files database". The Telegraph (UK). 2011-04-27. Archived from the original on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  21. ^ "Muhammad Ali Abdallah Muhammad Bwazir: Guantanamo Bay detainee file on Muhammad Ali Abdallah Muhammad Bwazir, US9YM-000440DP, passed to the Telegraph by Wikileaks". The Telegraph (UK). 2011-04-27. Retrieved 2016-07-09. 

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