[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'.
Randeree Last Modified: 14 Jun 2011 19:03
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
Katie Taylor, who works for
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,
Al-Gazzar was sentenced in absentia in Egypt in 2001 to three years
in prison for affiliation with a group called Al-Wa'ad.
<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
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
"What kind of 'Arab Spring' is it when the Egyptian military
compounds the mistakes of America's 'War of Terror'?"
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the PPnews