Emad Hassan free from Guantánamo after 13 years

Image of Emad Hassan

The US government has released Emad Hassan from Guantánamo Bay. It has been 13 years since he was taken to the prison, and 8 years since he was cleared for release, but Emad is finally free.

Emad was held without charge or trial for 13 years and was abused throughout his detention. He was on hunger strike from 2007 until the day he left in June 2015 – longer than any other detainee. In retaliation for his peaceful protest, the guards punished Emad by brutally force-feeding him up to twice a day and beating him.

A simple mistake led to Emad’s 13-year ordeal. Bounty hunters abducted him while he was studying in Pakistan, and sold him to US forces for $5,000. In the confusion of interrogation, he told his captors that he knew about ‘Al Qa’idah’, referring to a small village with that name near his hometown in Yemen. As a result, Emad was taken to Guantánamo Bay.

Emad was never charged with a crime, and was cleared for release in 2009, but it was another 6 years until he was finally freed. He lost a third of his life to Guantánamo. Emad is from Yemen, but he was released to Oman, where he will now begin the process of rebuilding his life with the help of Reprieve’s Life After Guantánamo team.

We must continue to fight for the prisoners in Guantánamo Bay

Emad’s release shows what we can achieve together. But 116 detainees are still being held in Guantánamo Bay. After 13 years of detention and abuse, the biggest threat to these men is that the world forgets about them.

Free Shaker Aamer

Shaker Amer at GuantanamoShaker Aamer was taken, hooded and shackled, to the prison camp at Guantánamo Bay on the same day his youngest child was born – a child he has still never met, touched, or even seen. Like Emad, Shaker has been never been charged with a crime, and has been cleared for release by the very government that continues to detain and abuse him.

The British government has said time and time again that Shaker must be returned home to his wife and their four British children in London. There is no legal – or indeed rational – reason that Shaker remains in Guantanamo – President Obama must send him home to the UK at once.

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