Family of Guantanamo Pakistani demand justice in Islamabad court

June 17, 2015

Image depicting force-feeding of Mos Def

The family of a Pakistani man detained without trial for over a decade in Guantanamo Bay will demand tomorrow (Thursday) in the Islamabad High Court that the Pakistani government intervene urgently in his case.

Ahmad Rabbani has been on hunger strike for nearly two years in peaceful protest against his ongoing detention at the American prison camp. The hunger strike is taking a serious toll on his health, and his family will ask the Islamabad High Court to intervene in his case because they fear for his life. The case will be heard by Justice Athar Minallah in the morning.

In a series of letters recently received by his lawyers, Mr Rabbani has explained how his twice-daily force feeding – which defies all international norms on the treatment of hunger-striking prisoners – is causing uncontrolled vomiting, fainting fits, and fluctuating weight changes.

Lawyers for Mr Rabbani will ask the court tomorrow to order the Pakistani government to secure his release from Guantanamo, citing a range of constitutional protections which have been flouted by the US government in his case.

As part of their evidence, Mr Rabbani’s lawyers will present extracts from the US Senate’s own report into the CIA rendition and interrogation programme in which Mr Rabbani is mentioned by name. The report shows how Mr Rabbani’s original kidnap was a case of mistaken identity, and how he was then subjected to the full range of “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques” over nearly two years in secret prisons. Those techniques have been openly described as torture by President Obama himself.

Mr Rabbani’s lawyer and director of human rights organisation Reprieve, Clive Stafford Smith said: “In numerous visits to Ahmad over the last two years, we have watched with increasing upset the damage that the torturous force-feeding regime in Guantanamo is causing to his health and spirits. The Pakistani government can no longer sit silently by, and allow a major ally to do this to a citizen of theirs. I hope the Islamabad High Court will give them the boot that they need, before that damage becomes irreparable.”


Notes to editors

1. For further information, please contact Reprieve’s press office: +44 207 553 8160