Abandoned in Guantánamo: Ahmed Ould Abdel Aziz, a citizen of Mauritania

October 15, 2008

Image from a Gitmo protest

After over six years’ imprisonment without charge or trial, Ahmed Ould Abdel Aziz, a citizen of Mauritania, despairs of ever being released – or of receiving a fair trial.

He also fears for his sanity. During a recent visit with his lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith, Director of the legal action charity Reprieve, Ahmed explained what happens to him in the brief time he is allowed out of his cell. “When I am outside”, he said, “I am nonplussed. I begin to forget the nature of my former life.”

Ahmed is held in the prison’s notorious Camp 6, which is a copy of a maximum-security prison block on the US mainland. The difference, of course, is that the facility on the US mainland contains prisoners who have been tried and convicted of crimes.

“This place is a sarcophagus”, Ahmed explained to Stafford Smith, “designed for preserving mummies or keeping innocent prisoners in total isolation for centuries.”

For further information, please contact Katherine O’Shea at Reprieve’s Press Office info@reprieve.org.uk.

Notes for Editors:

Reprieve, a legal action charity, uses the law to enforce the human rights of prisoners, from death row to Guantánamo Bay. Reprieve investigates, litigates and educates, working on the frontline, to provide legal support to prisoners unable to pay for it themselves. Reprieve promotes the rule of law around the world, securing each person’s right to a fair trial and saving lives. Clive Stafford Smith is the founder of Reprieve and has spent 25 years working on behalf of people facing the death penalty in the USA.

Reprieve’s current casework involves representing 33 prisoners in the US prison at Guantanamo Bay, working on behalf of prisoners facing the death penalty, and conducting ongoing investigations into the rendition and the secret detention of ‘ghost prisoners’ in the so-called ‘war on terror.’


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Website: www.reprieve.org.uk

Reprieve is a charitable company limited by guarantee; Registered Charity No. 1114900 Registered Company No. 5777831 (England) Registered Office 2-6 Cannon Street London EC4M 6YH; Patrons: Alan Bennett, Julie Christie, Martha Lane Fox, Gordon Roddick, Jon Snow, Marina Warner