[Ppnews] Ex-Guantanamo prisoner arrested in Egypt on trumped up charges

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Jun 14 15:21:07 EDT 2011


Ex-Guantanamo prisoner arrested in Egypt
After a decade in detention, Adel al-Gazzar detained on his return 
home on what his lawyers call 'trumped-up charges'.

<http://english.aljazeera.net/profile/bilal-randeree.html>Bilal 
Randeree Last Modified: 14 Jun 2011 19:03
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/06/201161417483731508.html

Egyptian police have arrested a man who returned home after being 
jailed for years at the US naval base in Guantanamo Bay.

Adel al-Gazzar told reporters on Monday that the Americans had not 
sent him back to Egypt for fear that he would be tortured in his homeland.

He was arrested upon arrival in Egypt on what his lawyers describe as 
"trumped-up charges".

Katie Taylor, who works for 
<http://www.reprieve.org.uk/2011_06_13_adel_arrested>Reprieve, a 
legal charity based in London that represents prisoners in Guantanamo 
Bay, told Al Jazeera that al-Gazzar suffered a "decade-long ordeal of 
torture and detention without trial".

"He arrived home to Egypt, only to face further discredited, 
trumped-up charges."

Al-Gazzar was sentenced in absentia in Egypt in 2001 to three years 
in prison for affiliation with a group called Al-Wa'ad.

'Political prisoner'

<http://twitter.com/amadooooo>Ahmed Ghappour, al-Gazzar's lawyer in 
the US, said that nearly half of the defendants present at the trial 
were found innocent.

"Such cases were often used as a tool by the Mubarak regime to 
silence dissent," Ghappour said.

He added that before being arrested in Egypt, Al-Gazzar was "allowed 
to see his wife and four children for about an hour". This was the 
first time he had seen them in over ten years.

Katherine O'Shea, press officer for Reprieve, told Al Jazeera that 
Al-Gazzar was taken to "the Military Prosecution to sign his 
sentence, and was then transferred to the Criminal Prison of Appeals in Cairo".

"This is unusual as political prisoners are usually sent to the Tora 
prison, which has better conditions. The Criminal Prison of Appeals 
is overcrowded," O'Shea said.

She said that he on arrival at the prison, the security services were 
concerned about the conditions and decided to transfer him to be 
detained in the airport.

"Adel has been told that tomorrow he will be taken to the prison 
authority, who will determine which prison he will be sent to serve 
his sentence."

Not safe to return

Al-Gazzar says he went to Pakistan in 2000 to preach Islam, and 
signed up with the Red Crescent to go into Afghanistan to help 
refugees. Within two hours of crossing the border to a refugee camp, 
the area was hit by a US airstrike.

His leg was injured in the airstrike and he was treated in a 
Pakistani hospital. He says he was sold to the US military for a 
bounty and transferred to a US prison in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Al-Gazzar was reportedly tortured for eleven days before being 
transferred to Guantanamo Bay. He had received no medical attention 
during his time in Kandahar, and as a result, his leg had to be amputated.

Cleared for release by US authorities, it was deemed unsafe for him 
to return to Egypt and he had to wait eight years for a third country 
to accept him.

Released from Guantanamo in 2010, he was transferred to Slovakia 
where he was imprisoned in an immigration detention centre for more 
than six months.

He was released after going on a hunger strike to protest against the 
manner in which he was being held.

Katie Taylor said that Reprieve was calling for Al-Gazzar to be 
allowed "to rejoin his beloved family and to build a new life in the 
new Egypt".

"What kind of 'Arab Spring' is it when the Egyptian military 
compounds the mistakes of America's 'War of Terror'?"




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