Lotfi Bin Ali

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For the individual tortured by the CIA, then held in Bagram, see Lufti Al-Arabi Al-Gharisi.
Lotfi Bin Ali
Born 1965 (age 51–52)
Tunis, Tunisia
Detained at Guantanamo
Alternate name Mohammed Abdul Rahman
ISN 894
Charge(s) no charge, extrajudicial detention
Status transferred to Kazakhstan

Lotfi Bin Ali is a Tunisian who the United States held in extrajudicial detention for over thirteen years in the Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba.[1][2] He was one of five individuals transferred to Kazakhstan in 2014. He was extensively quoted following the death by lack of medical care of one of the other captives transferred to Kazakhstan. In a September 2016 profile in The Guardian he described exile in Kazakhstan as being very isolating, and, in some ways, almost as bad as Guantanamo.[3]


Lotfi's health is poor.[4][5][6] A 2004 medical summary stated he had chronic heart disease that had required the placement of a mechanical heart valve; that he had kidney stones; latent tuberculosis, depression and high blood pressure. It stated he needed to have his blood tested, twice a month, to ensure he was receiving the right dose of anti-coagulants.

According to his Guantanamo weight records he was 76.5 inches (194 cm) tall, and weighed 225 pounds (102 kg) on his arrival.[7] His weight showed a sudden drop in late fall of 2005, he weighed 218 pounds (99 kg) on November 27, 2005. On December 10, 2005, his weight had dropped to 192.5 pounds (87.3 kg). On both December 12 and 13 his weight was recorded as exactly 173.4 pounds (78.7 kg). On December 16 his weight was recorded as exactly 163.9 pounds (74.3 kg). By December 29, his records showed he had gained 29 pounds (13 kg). By January 27, 2006, his weight had risen to 201.4 pounds (91.4 kg), and his weight oscillated around that weight for the rest of 2006.

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.[8] 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.[9][10]

Following the Supreme Court's ruling the Department of Defense set up the Office for the Administrative Review of Detained Enemy Combatants.[8][11]

Scholars at the Brookings Institute, 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:[12]

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.[13][14] His two-page Joint Task Force Guantanamo assessment was drafted on June 27, 2004.[4] It was signed by camp commandant Jay W. Hood. He recommended release, due to Lotfi's serious health problems, but noted the Criminal Investigative Task Force regarded him as a high risk.

Cleared for release by the Guantanamo Joint Task Force[edit]

President Barack Obama enacted three Executive Orders pertaining to Guantanamo on the day he took office.[6] Executive Order 13492 established the Guantanamo Joint Task Force, which established a new review process for the remaining captive, one where those reviewing their status were senior officials representing several cabinet departments, including the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Lotfi was cleared, yet again, by his review.

Transfer to Kazakhstan[edit]

On December 30, 2014, Lotfi and four other men were transferred to Kazakhstan, where they were kept under onerous security conditions.[15][16][17] The four other men were Asim Thahit Abdullah al Khalaqi, Adel al-Hakeemy, Muhammad Ali Husayn Khanayna and Sabri Mohammed Ebrahim Al Qurashi.

Kazakhstan security officials routinely enter the men's homes, without a warrant.[16]


  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. Retrieved 2006-05-15. 
  2. ^ Margot Williams (2008-11-03). "Guantanamo Docket: Lotfi Bin Ali". New York Times. Retrieved 2016-07-09. 
  3. ^ Shaun Walker (2016-09-30). "'Here I have nobody': life in a strange country may be worse than Guantánamo". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-10-06. Lonely and isolated in the Kazakh steppe, the 51-year-old Tunisian has found life since his release from Guantánamo no easier than life inside. 
  4. ^ a b "Abdullah Bin Ali Al Lutfi: Guantanamo Bay detainee file on Abdullah Bin Ali Al Lutfi, US9TS-000894DP, passed to the Telegraph by Wikileaks". The Telegraph (UK). 2011-04-27. Retrieved 2016-07-09. 
  5. ^ Diana Cariboni; Raya Jalabi; Jonathan Watts (2015-05-22). "Former Guantánamo detainee dies in Kazakhstan six months after release". The Guardian. Retrieved 2016-10-06. The most seriously ill of the group sent to Kazakhstan is Tunisian Abdullah Bin Ali al-Lutfi, who has a mechanical heart valve and suffers from chronic heart rhythm, kidney stones and high blood pressure. He is 49 years old. 
  6. ^ a b Andy Worthington (2012-10-25). "Who Are the 55 Cleared Guantánamo Prisoners on the List Released by the Obama Administration?". Retrieved 2016-10-06. Noticeably, one of these men, Mohammed Abdul Rahman (also known as Lotfi bin Ali), who was first cleared in 2004, is also ill, as I explained in the report on the 40 cleared prisoners in June... 
  7. ^ "The DoD published captives' weights in 2007 -- ISN 839-ISN 1011" (PDF). JTF-GTMO. Retrieved 2016-10-06. 
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ Guantánamo Prisoners Getting Their Day, but Hardly in Court, New York Times, November 11, 2004 - mirror
  10. ^ Inside the Guantánamo Bay hearings: Barbarian "Justice" dispensed by KGB-style "military tribunals", Financial Times, December 11, 2004
  11. ^ "Q&A: What next for Guantanamo prisoners?". BBC News. 2002-01-21. Archived from the original on 23 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-24.  mirror
  12. ^ a b c d e f g Benjamin Wittes, Zaathira Wyne (2008-12-16). "The Current Detainee Population of Guantánamo: An Empirical Study" (PDF). The Brookings Institute. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2012-06-22. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  13. ^ 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. 
  14. ^ "WikiLeaks: The Guantánamo files database". The Telegraph (UK). 2011-04-27. Archived from the original on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  15. ^ Missy Ryan, Adam Goldman (2014-12-31). "Pentagon, moving to close Guantanamo, sends five prisoners to Kazakhstan". Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-10-06. A U.S. defense official said the prisoners will be "resettled" in Kazakhstan, a term the Pentagon uses when detainees are set free in a new country but remain subject to some level of monitoring by the host government. Typically, the released detainees are prohibited from leaving the host country for one or two years. 
  16. ^ a b Claire Ward (2015-05-21). "Former Guantanamo Detainee Dies in Kazakhstan". Vice News. Archived from the original on 2015-05-22. Al-Khalaqi, 47, was found unconscious in his apartment in Kyzylorda on May 7 and was brought to the hospital with suspected food poisoning. The autopsy later revealed that he died of kidney failure and showed he had a severe lung infection. 
  17. ^ Andy Worthington (2015-01-04). "Who Are the Five Guantánamo Prisoners Given New Homes in Kazakhstan?". Retrieved 2016-10-06. I discussed the case of al-Lufti (aka Abdul Rahman) in my article, "Guantánamo Scandal: The 40 Prisoners Still Held But Cleared for Release At Least Five Years Ago," published in June 2012, in which I described his illnesses, and also explained that, disturbingly, he was first cleared for release nearly ten years ago... 

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