Two Pakistani brothers who had spent nearly 20 years in the American military jail at Guantanamo Bay have been freed of all charges.
In Pakistan in 2002, Abdul and Mohammed Ahmed Rabbani were detained.
According to the Pentagon, Abdul Rabbani ran an al-Qaeda safe house while his brother coordinated travel and financial support for the organization’s top brass.
Before being sent to Guantánamo, the brothers said they had been tortured by CIA agents.
Now, both have returned to Pakistan.
Following the 9/11 terror attacks in New York, then-President George W. Bush established the Guantanamo camp, which is located in Cuba, to detain suspects of foreign terrorism. It has its headquarters on a US Navy facility.
Yet, the camp has come to represent some of the excesses of the “war on terror” due to the use of torture-like interrogation techniques and the prolonged detention of inmates without charge or conviction.
As long as 32 people are still being held there, US President Joe Biden said he hopes to shut down the prison. The facility could house 680 convicts at once at its busiest in 2003.
The Military released a statement saying, “The United States appreciates the Government of Pakistan’s and other allies’ commitment to assist ongoing US efforts focused on responsibly lowering the inmate population and ultimately closing the Guantanamo Bay facility.”
In September 2002, the brothers were apprehended by Pakistan’s security forces in Karachi. They were held at a CIA detention center in Afghanistan for over two years before being moved to Guantanamo.
Ahmed Rabbani started a seven-year stretch of hunger strikes in 2013. He would be forced to eat nutritional supplements through a tube in order to survive.
According to the BBC, Clive Stafford Smith, a lawyer with the 3D Centre who has previously represented both men, plans to sue over the brothers’ arrest “But, they have little chance of getting paid. They won’t receive a simple apology either “.
The release of both men was authorized for 2021. It’s unknown why they were kept behind bars.
Ahmed Rabbani’s wife was pregnant at the time of his imprisonment, and five months later, she gave birth to their baby. The unexpected silence of Guantanamo’s artists. His son has never met him.
“I’ve been speaking with Jawad, Ahmed’s 20-year-old son, who had never met or held his father because his mother was expecting him at the time of Ahmed’s abduction. I’ve had multiple encounters with Jawad, and I wish I could say that I was present for their first hug “said Mr. Stafford Smith.
Ahmed Rabbani established a reputation for himself as a skilled artist when he was being held at Guantanamo. In May, he has a show in Karachi scheduled with 12 other Pakistani artists who were influenced by his works, Mr. Stafford Smith continued.
Ahmed Rabbani’s 20 years in prison have been dubbed a “tragedy” that “exemplifies how far the USA deviated from its basic ideals during the ‘war on terror’ era,” according to Maya Foa, director of the justice organisation Reprieve, who represented him in court up until last year.
“They took a son, a husband, and a father away from a family. There is no way to make up for that injustice. When Guantánamo is permanently closed, a complete accounting of the harms wrought by the failed “war on terror” can start “She spoke.