Reprieve celebrates the release of Ismail Mohamed from Guantanamo

December 22, 2009

At approximately 12:10 PM Hargeisa time on December 19, 2009, Ismail Mohamed, Reprieve client and one of the last prisoners to be taken to Guantánamo, was released to his family and friends in Somaliland.

Another Somali, Mohammed Sulaymon Barre, was with him. Reprieve counsel witnessed the release, which was done with an admirable sensitivity to the men’s past suffering and that of their families. Reprieve thanks the Somaliland government for its humanitarian spirit, and the US State Department for having conducted the negotiations that made this release possible.

Secret Prisons Legal Director and Ismail’s attorney, Cori Crider, said:

“The Somaliland authorities have the better of virtually any government that has repatriated a Guantánamo prisoner. In minutes, they restored to these men something denied them for years – dignity.”

“I am grateful to those in the US administration who saw sense and let Ismail go. Ismail Mohamed is not and never was an enemy combatant, a terrorist, or anything of the sort. He was an English teacher, a community organizer, and a skilled mediator, seized en route to a peace conference he helped organize. We are relieved that his ordeal – from Djiboutian custody, to secret detention in Camp Lemonier, and then to Guantánamo Bay – is at last at an end.”

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For further information or interviews please contact Chloe Davies at Reprieve,, +44 20 7427 1093

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 Guantánamo 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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