|Born||August 5, 1968|
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
|Detained at||CIA black site|
|Charge(s)||Faces charges before a military commission, no trial yet.|
Mustafa al-Hawsawi (Arabic: مصطفى الهوساوي, Muṣṭafā al-Ḥawsāwī; born August 5, 1968) is a Saudi Arabian citizen. He is alleged to have acted as one of many financial facilitators of the September 11 attacks in the United States. However, the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture which was publicly released on December 9, 2014, disclosed an internal CIA cable between the chief of interrogations and the CIA Headquarters wherein he expressed reservations regarding al-Hawsawi's alleged role and involvement in the plot. The report reveals "following al-Hawsawi's first interrogation session, Chief of Interrogations asked CIA Headquarters for information on what al-Hawsawi actually "knows," saying: "he does not appear to the [sic] be a person that is a financial mastermind."
Mustafa al-Hawsawi was captured in Pakistan by Pakistani agents in March 2003 and was transferred to the custody of the United States. He was held in secret CIA black sites until September 2006, when he was transferred to Guantánamo Bay and U.S. officials finally acknowledged his imprisonment. It detained him at the Salt Pit, a secret black site in Afghanistan. It was reported in August 2010 that, after months of interrogation, the CIA transferred al-Hawsawi and three other high-value detainees to Guantanamo Bay detention camp on September 24, 2003, for indefinite detention. Fearing that Rasul v. Bush, a pending Supreme Court case about detainees' habeas corpus rights, might result in having to provide the men with access to counsel, the CIA took back custody on March 27, 2004, and transported the four men to one of their black sites.
It has long been known that, during al-Hawsawi's CIA captivity, his captors injured him, causing him to suffer from anal fissures, chronic hemorrhoids and, most seriously, symptomatic rectal prolapse. When the United States Senate Intelligence Committee published a 600 page unclassified summary of its 6,000 page report on the CIA's use of torture the world learned that the CIA routinely punished its captives by sodomizing them, claiming the sodomy was the long abandoned medical technique of rectal feeding. The United States Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation of the CIA's Torture Program revealed that detainees were routinely subjected to unnecessary rectal exams without evidence of medical necessity for purposes of behavioral control. CIA leadership, including General Counsel Scott Muller and DDO James Pavitt, were alerted to allegations that rectal exams were conducted with "excessive force" on two detainees at DETENTION SITE COBALT. CIA records indicate that one of the detainees, Mustafa al-Hawsawi, was later diagnosed with chronic hemorrhoids, an anal fissure, and symptomatic rectal prolapse.
Al-Hawsawi was transferred from CIA custody to military custody at Guantanamo on September 6, 2006. The Bush administration was then confident of passage of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which restricted detainee use of habeas corpus, and prohibited them from using the federal court system. (This provision was ruled unconstitutional in Boumediene v. Bush (2008) and numerous habeas corpus petitions were refiled in federal courts.)
Although it is alleged that al-Hawsawi was a member of al-Qaeda, he stated in a Combatant Status Review Hearing that he is not a member of al-Qaeda, and never swore an oath of allegiance to Usama bin Laden.
Al-Hawsawi was charged with being in the United Arab Emirates starting in April 2001, and with assisting at least one would be hijacker with travel arrangements to the United States. On September 11, 2001, al-Hawsawi travelled from the United Arab Emirates to Pakistan. Al-Hawsawi said that he first learned of the 9/11 operation following the attacks and was surprised by the size of the 9/11 operation.
Al-Hawsawi's arrest on March 1, 2003, in Pakistan was unrelated to any reporting from CIA detainees. He was reportedly taken to the U.S. Bagram airbase in Afghanistan. The CIA maintained a detention and interrogation site there. This was not confirmed by U.S. officials.
Al-Hawsawi was held in secret CIA custody, for several years. When the United States Senate Intelligence Committee published a 600-page unclassified summary of its 6,000 page classified report on the CIA's use of torture, it became known that al-Hawsawi was held in several CIA black sites during his years in secret detention, where he was subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques which amounted to torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. In particular, the report revealed that:
- Al-Hawsawi had been held in detention site COBALT, believed to be situated in Afghanistan, in 2003. There he was subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques, including water dousing without the approval from CIA headquarters and to rectal examinations conducted with "excessive force", leading to a diagnosis of chronic hemorrhoids, anal fissure, and symptomatic rectal prolapse;
- During his detention in detention site VIOLET, believed to be located in Lithuania, al-Hawsawi required emergency medical care, but officers denied him access to a local hospital.
Moreover, the findings of the Senate Report raised doubts about Al-Hawsawi's detention, identifying him as one of a number of individuals who were detained under the CIA's program "despite doubts and questions surrounding [his] knowledge of terrorist threats and the location of senior al-Qa'ida leadership". In fact, after his first interrogation, the Chief of Interrogations wrote to CIA Headquarters saying that al-Hawsawi "does not appear to the [sic] be a person that is a financial mastermind."
Questions from Salim Ahmed Hamdan's defense attorney
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On April 23, 2008, attorneys working on behalf of Salim Ahmed Hamdan requested permission to meet with Abdulmalik Mohammed and Mustafa al-Hawsawi. Hamdan's attorneys had previously requested permission to get the "high-value detainees" to answer written questions. They believed the men would confirm that if Hamdan played a role in al Qaeda, it had been a peripheral one. Abdulmalik Mohammed and Mustafa al-Hawsawi declined to answer the questions, because they said they had no way to know that the questions purporting to be from Hamdan's attorneys were not a ruse. Andrea J. Prasow requested permission for Lieutenant Commander Brian Mizer to meet in person with the two men to try to assure them that the questions were not a ruse, and would not be shared with their interrogators.
Military commission trial
In June 2008, al-Hawsawi and four other "high-value detainees" (Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Ammar al-Baluchi and Walid Bin Attash) were charged with crimes brought before the Guantanamo military commission. The charges included 2,973 individual counts of murder, one for each person killed in the September 11 attacks, as well as conspiracy, murder in violation of the law of war, attacking civilians, attacking civilian objects, intentionally causing serious bodily injury, destruction of property in violation of the law of war, terrorism, and providing material support for terrorism. The judge ordered al-Hawsawi and bin al-Shibh to undergo mental competency hearings. On December 8, 2008, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed told the judge that he and the other four indictees wished to confess and plead guilty; however, the plea would be delayed until after the competency hearings for al-Hawsawi and bin al-Shibh, so that all five men could make their plea together. The charges against all five were dismissed on January 21, 2010, before a plea was entered.
In May 2009, Al Arabiya reported that Montasser al-Zayyat, a prominent Saudi Arabian attorney, had been invited to defend al-Hawsawi. Al Zayat described suspecting, at first, that he was the target of a hoax.
On August 31, 2009, Corrections One, a trade journal for the prison industry, proclaimed that "Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi" was one of ten captives they speculated might be moved to a maximum security prison in Standish, Michigan.
Official status reviews
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. 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
Following the Supreme Court's ruling, the Department of Defense set up the Office for the Administrative Review of Detained Enemy Combatants.
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, as follows:
- Mustafa Ahmed Adam al Hawasawi was listed as one of the captives who had faced charges before a military commission.
United States Senate Torture Report
On December 9, 2014, a redacted executive summary of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture was publicly released. This executive summary revealed the following information regarding al-Hawsawi's torture:
- He was subjected to rectal examinations conducted with excessive force and was later diagnosed with chronic hemorrhoids, an anal fissure, and symptomatic rectal prolapse.
- He was subjected to water dousing without approval from CIA Headquarters in a manner that was indistinguishable from waterboarding. This became the subject of a Central Intelligence Agency Office of Inspector General investigation.
- He was hospitalized for a medical emergency that occurred during his torture.
Amnesty International, USA Campaign
On December 7, 2015, Amnesty International, USA launched a campaign to raise awareness regarding al-Hawsawi's military commission trial, which they alleged violates international fair trial standards by frustrating the truth seeking process by impeding transparency and denying accountability for torture.
Human Rights bodies' criticism of al-Hawsawi's detention
UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention
On January 23, 2015, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention held that al-Hawsawi's ongoing detention in Guantánamo Bay was arbitrary, and in contravention of articles 9 and 10 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and 9 and 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
On July 7, 2015, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights adopted a resolution on precautionary measures regarding al-Hawsawi requesting the United States of America, inter alia, to adopt the necessary measures to protect the life and personal integrity of al-Hawsawi, and to adopt the necessary measures to ensure access to medical care and treatment.
Formerly secret Joint Task Force Guantanamo assessment
On April 25, 2011, whistleblower organization WikiLeaks published formerly secret assessments drafted by Joint Task Force Guantanamo analysts. His seven-page Joint Task Force Guantanamo assessment was drafted on December 8, 2006. It was signed by deputy camp commandant Brigadier General Edward L. Secord. He recommended continued detention.
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Carol Rosenberg (2016-10-11). "'Sodomized' Guantánamo captive to undergo rectal surgery". Miami Herald. Retrieved 2016-10-11.
"Mr. Hawsawi was tortured in the black sites. He was sodomized," Ruiz told reporters Monday evening, advising them to "shy away from terms like rectal penetration or rectal rehydration because the reality is it was sodomy," he said. Since then, he said, he has had "to manually reinsert parts of his anal cavity" to defecate.
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According to Ingrida Botyriene, the lawyer, suspicions that al-Hawsawi was kept in the alleged secret CIA site in Lithuania are substantiated by a US Senate report. and evidence collected by non-governmental organizations.
"Talk of CIA Black Site in Lithuania Resurfaces". 2016-05-24. Retrieved 2016-12-30.
Captured in 2003, Mustafa al-Hawsawi was held in secret detention centers, human rights organizations say, before being transferred to Guantanamo Bay almost a decade ago. U.S. authorities have accused al-Hawsawi of being a member of al Qaeda and helping with the financing of the 9/11 attacks.
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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.
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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 2012-07-11. 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.
- "WikiLeaks: The Guantánamo files database". The Telegraph (UK). 2011-04-27. Archived from the original on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2012-07-10.
- "Mustafa Ahmad Al Hawsawi: Guantanamo Bay detainee file on Mustafa Ahmad Al Hawsawi, US9SA-010011DP, passed to the Telegraph by Wikileaks". The Telegraph (UK). 2011-04-27. Retrieved 2016-12-30.
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