Saifullah Paracha

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Saifullah Paracha
Saifullah Paracha.jpg
Born (1947-08-17) August 17, 1947 (age 71)
Mongwal, Pakistan
Detained atCIA black sites; Bagram; Guantanamo
StatusStill held in the Guantanamo camps

Saifullah Paracha is a citizen of Pakistan currently held in the United States Guantanamo Bay detainment camps, in Cuba.[1] The Department of Defense reports that Paracha was born on August 17, 1947, in Mongwal, Pakistan.

He graduated from a university in Karachi with a degree in physics and attended New York Institute of Technology, studying computer systems analysis.

As of August 2017, Saifullah Paracha has been held at Guantanamo for almost thirteen years.[2]

Paracha's Son[edit]

Paracha's son, Uzair Paracha, was convicted in 2005 for providing support to Al-Qaeda, that included assistance for Majid Khan to obtain documents.[3]

On July 3, 2018, 15 years after his arrest, Uzair's conviction was deemed void by Judge Sidney H. Stein based on newly discovered statements made by Ammar Al Baluchi, Majid Khan and Khalid Sheikh Mohammad. Stein, who oversaw Paracha’s trial and imposed his sentence, called it a “manifest injustice” to let the conviction stand and granted Paracha’s request, made in November 2008, for a new trial.[4]

Combatant Status Review[edit]

A Summary of Evidence memo was prepared for Saifullah Paracha's Combatant Status Review Tribunal, on October 6, 2004.[5]

Saifullah Paracha v. George W. Bush[edit]

A writ of habeas corpus, Saifullah Paracha v. George W. Bush, was submitted on Saifullah Paracha's behalf.[6] In response, on December 21, 2004, the Department of Defense published fifty-eight pages of unclassified documents related to his Combatant Status Review Tribunal.

On December 8, 2004, Tribunal panel 24 convened and confirmed Saifullah Paracha's "enemy combatant" status.

Joint Review Task Force[edit]

On January 21, 2009, the day he was inaugurated, United States President Barack Obama issued three Executive orders related to the detention of individuals in Guantanamo.[7][8][9][10] That new review system was composed of officials from six departments, where the OARDEC reviews were conducted entirely by the Department of Defense. When it reported back, a year later, the Joint Review Task Force classified some individuals as too dangerous to be transferred from Guantanamo, even though there was no evidence to justify laying charges against them. On April 9, 2013, that document was made public after a Freedom of Information Act request.[11] Saifullah Paracha was one of the 71 individuals deemed too innocent to charge, but too dangerous to release. Obama said those deemed too innocent to charge, but too dangerous to release would start to receive reviews from a Periodic Review Board.

Periodic Review Board[edit]

The first review wasn't convened until November 20, 2013.[12] Parachas's review convened on April 8, 2016. His was the 29th review to be convened. Paracha was denied approval for transfer on April 7, 2016.[13]

Press reports[edit]

On July 12, 2006 the magazine Mother Jones provided excerpts from the transcripts of a selection of the Guantanamo detainees.[14] Paracha was one of the detainees profiled. According to the article his transcript contained the following exchange:

Tribunal president: I do know you had some questions about the legality of your detention. That would be referred to other organizations of the government, but you will be receiving more specific instructions shortly of how to bring your question to U.S. courts.

Paracha: Your honor, I have been here 17 months; would that be before I expire?

Tribunal president: I would certainly hope so, especially since you are under the care of the U.S. government while you are here. As far as some of the other statements you made about jurisdiction, this is a U.S. government executive decision in regards to the detention of enemy combatants….

Paracha: Your honor, my question is that your executive order is applicable around the earth?

Tribunal president: It is a global war on terrorism.

Paracha: I know, sir, but you are not the master of the earth, sir….

Tribunal president: Would you be surprised to hear that Osama bin Laden founded Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda includes people from all over the world? People from America, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Philippines, and people from wherever?

Paracha: Sir, how could anybody know who Al Qaeda is?

Tribunal president: Good question. That's a very good question.

On June 2, 2008 Zachary Katznelson appealed to the Pakistani government for assistance, stating:[15][16]

Political intervention is the only hope for Saifullah Paracha to receive justice.

Heart surgery[edit]

Guantanamo detainment camp infirmary operating room

Paracha needed heart surgery.[17]


  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. Retrieved September 29, 2007.
  2. ^ "Saifullah Paracha – The Guantánamo Docket". The New York Times. Retrieved September 14, 2011.
  3. ^ "US convicts man of al-Qaeda plot". BBC News. November 24, 2005. Retrieved May 23, 2010.
  4. ^ "New York judge voids Pakistani man's conviction for aiding al Qaeda". Reuters. July 3, 2018.
  5. ^ documents (.pdf) from Saifullah Paracha's Combatant Status Review Tribunal- mirror pages 1-19
  6. ^ "Saifullah Paracha v. George W. Bush 04-CV-2022 (PLF)" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. December 8, 2004. pp. 1–58. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 10, 2008. Retrieved June 10, 2008.
  7. ^ Andy Worthington (October 25, 2012). "Who Are the 55 Cleared Guantánamo Prisoners on the List Released by the Obama Administration?". Retrieved February 19, 2015. I have already discussed at length the profound injustice of holding Shawali Khan and Abdul Ghani, in articles here and here, and noted how their cases discredit America, as Khan, against whom no evidence of wrongdoing exists, nevertheless had his habeas corpus petition denied, and Ghani, a thoroughly insignificant scrap metal merchant, was put forward for a trial by military commission — a war crimes trial — under President Bush.
  8. ^ Andy Worthington (June 11, 2010). "Does Obama Really Know or Care About Who Is at Guantánamo?". Archived from the original on June 16, 2010. Retrieved July 21, 2010.
  9. ^ Peter Finn (January 22, 2010). "Justice task force recommends about 50 Guantanamo detainees be held indefinitely". Washington Post. Archived from the original on May 19, 2015. Retrieved July 21, 2010.
  10. ^ Peter Finn (May 29, 2010). "Most Guantanamo detainees low-level fighters, task force report says". Washington Post. Archived from the original on May 19, 2015. Retrieved July 21, 2010.
  11. ^ "71 Guantanamo Detainees Determined Eligible to Receive a Periodic Review Board as of April 19, 2013". Joint Review Task Force. April 9, 2013. Archived from the original on May 19, 2015. Retrieved May 18, 2015.
  12. ^ "Periodic Review Secretariat: Review Information". Periodic Review Secretariat. Archived from the original on April 15, 2016.
  13. ^ "Guantánamo's oldest captive, 68, too dangerous to release, parole board decides".
  14. ^ "Why Am I in Cuba?", Mother Jones (magazine), July 12, 2006
  15. ^ "Lawyer for Guantanamo inmate urges Pakistan govt help". Agence France Press. June 2, 2008. Archived from the original on June 2, 2008. Retrieved June 2, 2008.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  16. ^ Jan Khaskheli (June 2, 2008). "Pakistanis still languishing in Guantanamo Bay without trial". The News (Pakistan). Archived from the original on June 2, 2008. Retrieved June 1, 2008.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  17. ^ Joel Seidman (November 20, 2006). "Heart surgery must be at Guantanamo: Court denies Pakistani detainee's request to have procedure done off base". MSNBC. Retrieved January 12, 2007.

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