The Justice Department announced Thursday afternoon that two additional detainees had been sent from Guantánamo Bay to other countries: Jawad Jabbar Sadkhan, an Iraqi arrested in Afghanistan whom the US military has said was a Taliban leader was sent to Iraq Wednesday night, and Mohammed El Gharani, arrested in Pakistan, was transferred to his native Chad earlier today.
“As our review of detainees continues, the support of the international community is critical to the closure of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay and the security of our country,” said Matthew Olsen, Executive Director of the Guantanamo Review Task Force. “We are grateful for the cooperation of the Governments of Iraq and Chad and for their assistance on the successful transfer of these individuals.”
Sadkhan was alleged to have been a Taliban Group Commander, who recruited and conscripted soldiers for the Taliban and served as Director of Intelligence and head of the Taliban’s Interrogation Office at Mazar-E-Sharif. He had been in custody at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba since January 2002.
Sadkhan’s attorney petitioned last July, that his client had “not been charged with any crime. He was found to be an enemy combatant by a Combatant Status Review Tribunal (‘CSRT’) based on allegations that he was associated with and had leadership roles in the Taliban.”
His client “has consistently denied these allegations,” the attorney wrote. “The CSRT rejected his requests that witnesses be called and documents be produced. The Government has not alleged that (Jawad Jabbar Sadkhan) was a member of or associated with al-Qaeda or that he engaged in any hostilities against the United States or its allies.”
Gharani, 21 years old, was arrested in a mosque by Pakistani security forces in late 2001, and has been at Guantánamo since January 2002, when he was 14.
Earlier this year, Judge Richard Leon was asked to rule on whether or not Gharani could be considered an “enemy combatant.” The US government had alleged that he had served as a courier for al Qaeda, was a member of an al Qaeda cell in London and he stayed in an Qaeda-affiliated guest house in Afghanistan.
But Leon did not think the government had made its case, saying “the Government’s evidence is a mosaic of allegations made up of statements by the petitioner, statements by several of his fellow detainees, and certain classified documents that allegedly establish in greater detail the most likely explanation for, and significance of, petitioner’s conduct.”
The evidence “consists principally of the statements made by two other detainees while incarcerated at Guantánamo Bay. Indeed, these statements are exclusively, or jointly, the only evidence offered by the Government to substantiate the majority of their allegations. In addition, unlike the other cases reviewed by this Court to date, the credibility and reliability of the detainees being relied upon by the Government has either been directly called into question by Government personnel or has been characterized by Government personnel as undetermined”
Judge Leon stated that the government was “unable to either sufficiently establish the reliability of its detainee witnesses, or produce other reliable evidence to corroborate them”.
The judge concluded: “Simply stated, a mosaic of tiles bearing images this murky reveals nothing about the petitioner with sufficient clarity, either individually or collectively, that can be relied upon by this Court.” He ordered Ghalani released immediately.
In April, Ghalani took an opportunity to call his relatives and instead phoned an Al Jazeera reporter to say he was being abused.
"This treatment started about 20 days before Obama came into power, and since then I've been subjected to it almost every day," Ghalani said. "Since Obama took charge he has not shown us that anything will change."