Guantanamo detainee seen for first time in 14yrs

Abu Zubayda, who the CIA admitted it had waterboarded and who has never been charged with a crime, appears for first time in 14 years at quasi-parole hearing

Guantanamo detainee seen for first time in 14yrs

World Bulletin / News Desk

It was the first time that the world has seen Zayn al-Abidin Muhammed Husayn, also known as Abu Zubaydah, since his capture in Pakistan 14 years ago. He is one of three men that the CIA admits it waterboarded at an unknown prison in Thailand.

But during the publicly open portion of a quasi-parole hearing to consider his release from the prison at Guantánamo Bay, there was no mention of the torture endured by the 45-year-old Palestinian, who has never been charged with a crime.

There was, however, a black eyepatch hanging around his neck. Abu Zubaydah lost sight in one eye some time after he was taken into custody in disputed circumstances. On Tuesday, he could be seen occasionally swapping one pair of spectacles for another as he read documents about his case.

US President Barack Obama, who promised early in his presidency several years ago to close the detention center at Guantanamo, has been trying to use prisoner transfers to its population as Congress blocks his attempts to shut it down entirely.

The opening ten minutes of the hearing were broadcast live to journalists and members of legal and human rights watchdogs in a sealed room at the Pentagon, the Guardian said.

His detainee profile was read aloud, and said he had a "key role" in al-Qaida's communications in the 1990s, and may have had advance knowledge of the US embassy bombings in Africa in 1998 and the USS Cole attack in 2000 – and was "generally" aware of the September 11 attacks before they occurred.

Margulies, a professor at Cornell Law School, who was not present, expressed pessimism. “It’s all show, it’s all theatre,” he said. “Here’s the bottom line. Since Barack Obama took office, there is no one more different – who they thought he was and who he is – than Abu Zubaydah. He has done nothing that authorises his continued detention. It is morally and legally unjustified.”

Abu Zubaydah was a human guinea pig for the CIA torture regimen drawn up by contractor psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, now facing a federal lawsuit brought by later victims. Initially thought to possess vital information on al-Qaida and its plots, Abu Zubaydah was waterboarded 83 times, kept awake, held naked and forced into a wooden box little bigger than a coffin.

Source: The Guardian




Güncelleme Tarihi: 25 Ağustos 2016, 11:30