The United States military has always been highly secretive about the men it holds at the detention centre on Bagram airbase, only ever releasing one list of names – in February 2009, following a Freedom of Information request. AAN’s Kate Clark has been going through various sources of information and has put together what may be the first comprehensive list of detainees since then. 22 detainees can now be named, all of them foreigners (since the US handed over its last Afghan detainees in March 2013), 17 Pakistanis and five others, including men from Tunisia, Egypt and Russia. Some were rendered to Bagram, others were picked up fighting in Afghanistan or appear never to have been combatants. The pace of releases has quickened in recent months, most recently nine Pakistanis repatriated last week – something which the Afghan government has said it is unhappy about – and two Yemenis this week.Bagram. 24 detainees can now be named, all of them foreigners. The pace of releases has quickened in recent months, most recently nine Pakistanis repatriated last week. Photo: Tolo
Information on who the US military holds at Bagram has emerged over the years at a glacial pace. The military has refused to release details of the detainees and, unlike the inmates at Guantanamo, the American courts decided not to give the Bagram detainees habeas corpus rights (when a person’s detention has to be justified in a court of law). This has meant the only people from the outside world to visit the detainees are from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) which does not disclose information, but does contact detainees’ families. Once only has the world been given a list of those held in Bagram. Two Freedom of Information requests, enforced by a court order, compelled the US military to reveal that, in February 2009, there were 31 foreign detainees, including 22 Pakistanis, and 532 Afghans. It gave the men’s names, but redacted their nationalities and the dates, places and circumstances of capture making the list of limited use. As to current official numbers, the US military would only tell AAN it is holding “about 30 detainees.” (1)
Jigsaw pieces of information
Nevertheless, information is there, albeit in fragmented form, from families, legal proceedings, research by human rights activists, including the Open Societies Foundations’ masterly 2012 study ‘Globalizing Torture’, on the CIA’s post-2001 global rendition programme and newspaper reports, including the work of the investigative reporter, Andy Worthington, who annotated the US military’s 2009 list of detainees. A leaked ISAF report on Taleban attitudes, The State of the Taliban, included a little biographical detail of some detainees. It can be read on The New York Times website although (complying with the military’s request?) the paper blacked out the identities of the detainees. AAN obtained a non-redacted copy at the time and also wrote about the leaked report itself. At the start of August this year, the Pakistani government also informed the National Assembly of the names of all the Pakistanis the US Embassy in Islamabad said were being held at Bagram (2). From these sources, we can name 17 Pakistani detainees and four, possibly five, non-Pakistanis.
The pace of releases has been quickening; nine Pakistanis were repatriated on 21 August, ten on 13 May 2014 and six on 19 November 2013 (see the annex for their names and details). Two days ago (26 August 2014), a Yemeni campaigning group, the National Organisation for Defending Rights and Freedoms, announced that two of the longest-standing detainees had been repatriated, two Yemenis both of whom were rendered to Afghanistan. Amin Muhammad Abdallah al Bakri was seized in Bangkok in 2002 and allegedly held in various CIA ‘black sites’ before being handed over to the US military and transferred to Bagram. He has been cleared for release since 2010. Al Maqala was taken to Bagram in 2004, reportedly after spending time in Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq.
US military sources, quoted by The Washington Post in December 2013, said two un-named Saudis in their twenties, who were captured in 2008, had been repatriated and, in November 2013, one un-named Palestinian was also released to an unspecified Middle Eastern country. The Post also said two other men thought to be Pakistani had been reclassified as Afghan and handed over to the Afghan authorities (the last Afghans in US detention at Bagram were handed over on 25 March 2013. The fact that releases are now coming in large numbers and lawyers are involved means more complete information is now coming out.
Add up all the numbers of those known to be detained or recently released and you get 53, (3) the same number given by President Obama to Congress in June 2013 as the number of men then detained. It would seem reasonable to assume that the 22 men listed below make up the complete list of detainees now held at Bagram. However, the list of Pakistani detainees issued by Islamabad at the start of August 2014 is not fully convincing. Some of the men have one name only and the list does not include father’s name, place of birth and especially important, Bagram identity numbers (known as an Internment Serial Number or ISN) which makes it difficult to cross check. One of the nine Pakistanis recently released (21 August 2014) (Zabet from FATA) did not appear on the government’s 5 August list of Pakistani detainees. Nor did another man (Wahidullah) who is described by the US military as a member of the Pakistani Taleban. There may be detainees whose names have never appeared in open sourcing or have been recently captured who we do not know about. So, the list of 22 detainees cannot be said to be definitive.
Analysing the list
Pakistanis form the bulk of the detainees, not surprisingly, given they are the most numerous of the foreign nationals fighting in the insurgency, but also the most likely to be in Afghanistan for legitimate reasons and then detained, by bad luck or through treachery (early on, the US military also paid bounties to those handing in al-Qaida fighters). The lack of right to habeas corpus, legal counsel or even for a detainee to see evidence against him has meant ‘mistakes’ have often been difficult to undo. Pakistanis have generally formed a steady two-thirds of the population there, whether the total number was up or down.
The 22 named detainees include two men who were rendered to Bagram, one by the CIA who reportedly spent time in CIA ‘black’ sites (see the Open Society Foundations report for detail and sourcing). (Approximately 30 men in total were rendered to Bagram, but most were transferred on to Guantanamo Bay or other countries. Transfers from Bagram to Guantanamo ceased in 2004 after US courts extended habeas corpus to detainees there, but denied them to those at Bagram.) A third man, a Pakistani, Amanatullah Ali, along with his countryman Yunis Rahmatullah, had originally been detained by UK forces in Iraq in February 2004. They transferred them to the US military which rendered the two men to Bagram soon after.
This transfer, without getting or seeking the UK’s agreement, broke a 2003 Memorandum of Understanding between the two countries. British lawyers took the men’s cases to court and, in October 2012, the UK Supreme Court held their transfer and subsequent detention, long after hostilities in Iraq had ended, to be a prima facie violation of international law, in this case the 4th Geneva Convention (see a summary of the judgement). The lawyers have now asked for a judicial review to look into the failure of the UK government to investigate the circumstances of the two men’s capture, their transfer to US custody and rendition. They have also started a civil claim for damages.
What to do with Bagram?
The list gives some indication of possible future releases – and of who the US military would be loath to see freed. There are two issues here. One is the fate of each individual detainee and the other is what to do with detainees, in general, when Bagram (at some point) closes. Stated official US policy on Bagram appears unchanged since AAN last wrote about it a year ago and looked in detail at the arguments and options facing the US. The US military spokesman gave AAN the same line then, as now:
… we are assessing potential disposition options for third-country nationals who remain in US custody there. In most cases, we will seek to transfer these individuals to their home countries once those countries have provided us assurances that they will take appropriate steps to mitigate the threat these individuals pose, and have provided us assurances that they will treat the transferred detainees humanely. In some cases, we may seek to have individuals prosecuted for war crimes or violations of US or Afghan law.
The increased pace of releases is a clear consequence of the looming deadline of troop withdrawal at the end of the year; the US is urgently trying to reduce numbers as far as possible. There is a legal obligation to release military detainees when hostilities cease and, as Obama said on 27 May 2014, “America’s combat mission will be over by the end of this year.” (4) While he also announced that forces would be staying until the end of 2016, the stated end of the combat mission may well be something the US courts take seriously in relation to the military’s legal authority to detain. There are also practical considerations – who runs Bagram after 31 December 2014. Releasing detainees deemed a threat and likely to return to the ‘battlefield’ would be politically controversial in the US, as well, of course, in Afghanistan. Even releasing those deemed not to be a threat is frequently a long and painstaking process, often taking years.
Non-combatants/’enduring security threats’
All detainees are screened by Detention Review Boards within the first 60 days of their detention and then every six months. The boards, which are staffed by US military officers, review any evidence against each detainee (who is not shown it) and assess whether he was actually a combatant and whether he might pose a threat if released. The Board can decide to continue internment at Bagram if they deem a detainee to still pose a threat or transfer him to a third country for criminal prosecution, participation in a reconciliation program or release.
When the US was keeping Afghans at Bagram, if a board decided to release someone, it was a straightforward task. However, if a decision is taken to free a foreign detainee, it is the start of what can be a complex process: his nationality must first be certified and the US and the receiving state must come to an agreement, with guarantees that the released man will not engage in terrorism or be subject to torture or ill-treatment. The Afghan state also needs to issue an exit visa. The difficulties involved have meant many detainees remaining locked up years after being cleared for release. Such was the case with many of the recently released individuals and at least two of those still in detention: the rendered Pakistani, Amanatullah Ali, (since 2011) and another Pakistani, Fazal Karim (since 2011).
The fact that 25 Pakistanis have been repatriated since November 2013 is proof that Islamabad is finally taking the fate of its nationals seriously after pressure from the campaigning lawyers at the Justice Project Pakistan, which has clients among the detainees, and the Pakistani courts (for background, see here). It took a year to finalise the first batch of Pakistani releases, said Shahab Siddiqi, spokesman of the Justice Project Pakistan, from getting the names of those who were to be freed to their actually departure from Bagram. Even then, he said, and even though some of the detainees were their clients, they only found out about the releases through a “fluke” after the US failed to inform the families or the ICRC and Islamabad failed to inform the courts; the released men were taken straight into Pakistani detention for investigation and held incommunicado. Two subsequent transfers have been easier, more quickly processed and more transparent, possibly because procedures are now in place. Siddiqi said there is talk, including from the Pakistani government, of more releases before the 31 December withdrawal.
The release of two Yemeni detainees this week is also highly significant, largely for the much larger group of Yemenis held in Guantanamo Bay – out of approximately 90 Yemenis, 56 have been cleared for release. President Obama forbade the release of Yemenis from Guantanamo after an attempt to bomb an American airliner on Christmas Day, 2009 by a branch of al Qaida based in Yemen. In May 2014, he said he was lifting the moratorium and there would be a review “on a case-by-case basis.” It seems for releases to happen, the US had to be confident that the Yemeni authorities would be able to monitor, and rehabilitate and detain where necessary. The successful repatriation of al Bakri and al Maqala from Bagram may pave the way for releases of Yemenis from Guantanamo.
Recent releases from Bagram include those who (according to their lawyers) were minors, elderly (one man, Bismillah Khan, who was held for 8 years, is reported as 84 years old) and mentally ill. Those currently held include two men, who, their lawyers say, disappeared while in Pakistan (a businessman from Swat who disappeared while on a business trip in 2003 and a man from Karachi who disappeared in 2005 after dropping his sick father off in hospital and saying he would be back shortly after running some errands) and a Shia Muslim who was initially accused of belonging to the Sunni-sectarian group, Lashkar-e Tayba. There would appear to be room then, for cutting the number of detainees still further relatively easily, but at some point, the US will get down to the bone of the detainees whom it considers ‘enduring security threats’, those likely to return to the battlefield and pose a continuing threat to American.
Information on this category of detainees was given to the Armed Services Committee of Congress on 19 May 2014, but remains classified. However, men like Abu Ikhlas al-Masri, a known al-Qaida commander, would likely fall into this category. What do to with these men is a real dilemma for the US, albeit one of its own making (when it set Bagram – and Guantanamo – up in the way it did).
One option is prosecution (a Russian, listed as Ikrak Hamidullan, has been reported as a possible candidate for a military trial, for example). However, this is controversial in some American circles as it would involve bringing detainees to the US mainland. The military may anyway shy away from prosecuting those where evidence is likely to be inadmissible, whether because it is classified or was obtained through torture or where ‘nasty’ secrets concerning torture or rendition would be revealed in open court. Transfer to the Afghan authorities might also be an option, if there was evidence of criminal wrongdoing. However, there has been no sign that the Afghan government wants the men (5) and the issue which plagued ISAF with handing over Afghan detainees, the risk that they might be tortured, might well resurface. (6) There is no appetite for moving detainees to Guantanamo or the US mainland.
Meanwhile, the Afghan government has been complaining about the recent releases. Presidential spokesman Aimal Faizi was reported demanding an explanation from the US: “They should clarify where those prisoners were captured, how they were transferred to Bagram and why they have been set free…We also want to know if their cases have been investigated or whether they have been freed without a trial.” For the detainees to have been repatriated, they should have had an Afghan exit visa, so there should have been an agreement with the Afghan authorities. Nevertheless, if the Afghan government wants to halt releases in the future, it can.
Names and detail about the foreign detainees at Bagram (Included, where known, is the ISN (Internment Serial Number), the detainee’s identity number at Bagram.)
1 Hafizullah, Pakistani. According to the leaked ISAF report, The State of the Taliban, he is: “HUJI [Harakat ul-Jihad ul-Islami], 313 Brigade Operative, Bajaur Agency, PK and Kunar Province, Af.” It quotes him referring to himself as Punjabi. Hafizullah’s name also appears on the Pakistan government’s 5 August 2014 list of its detained nationals.
Harakat ul-Jihad ul-Islami is a Pakistani Deobandi militant group which emerged out of support to the Afghan mujahedin in the 1980s. After the Soviet withdrawal, it focused mainly on Kashmir, but has also fought in the post-2001 insurgency in Afghanistan. It has been accused of various terrorist acts and has a long association with al-Qaida. The 313 Brigade was established by the late Ilyas Kashmiri.
2 Muhammad Abdullawi. Described in State of the Taliban as “Moroccan German foreign fighter Zabul.” His detention on 8 May 2011 in Ghazi Kelay, near Qalat during a joint ISAF-Afghan operation was reported by ISAF and the Afghan authorities, alleging he was a “Germany-based Moroccan al Qaeda foreign fighter facilitator.” A German magazine said he was 30 years old at the time of his detention and had been living in Germany until 2010 when his temporary right of residency had run out (he did not possess a German passport). After that, he left the country and was arrested, but later released, in Turkey on his way to Pakistan, from where he entered Afghanistan. State of the Taliban quotes him talking about choosing whether to fight the ‘jihad’ in Afghanistan or Chechnya.
3 Wahidullah. “Al Qaida-Affiliated TTP operative, Bajaur agency and Kunar” (State of the Taliban); ISAF says he is a member of the Pakistani Taliban, his name is not on the Pakistan government’s list of its nationals.
4 Abu Ikhlas al-Masri, Egyptian. According to State of the Taliban, “Al Qaida operations commander, in Kunar province”. According to The Long War Journal, he was named “al Qaeda’s operations chief for Kunar province in early 2008.”. It reported his capture in December 2012, as did the Wall Street Journal.
5 Redha al-Najar, Tunisian, ISN 1466. According to the Open Society Foundations report on CIA rendition, he was detained in Karachi, in May 2002, and held in CIA custody and transferred between different black sites before being transferred to US military custody in Bagram. First communications with his family were in 2003 via the ICRC, approximately 18 months after his arrest. The Open Society Foundations writes that the Al Qaeda leader Abu Yahya al-Libi (now deceased), who escaped from Bagram in 2005, alleged that Najar had been held in the held in “the Dark Prison, Panjshir prison, “Rissat” prison, and “Rissat 2” prison.
“Rissat” sounds like a mangling of riasat, or ‘department’ in Dari, a term used for the departments of Afghan intelligence, the NDS. They are usually numbered, as in “Riasat 2”. The Dark Prison, Tor Jail in Pashto, has been repeatedly described by former inmates and is still in use as what AAN has been told by military sources is now a jointly run NDS/US military facility for screening detainees. It is on Bagram air base. The Panjshir prison may be the one used by Ahmad Shah Massud for his most high value detainees before 2001.
6 Irek Hamidullan (as named by US officials in The Washington Post) or Irek Khamidullin (according to Russian media), Russian. US officials speaking to the Post said he is in his mid- to late 50s and “a veteran of the Soviet war in Afghanistan in the 1980s who deserted and ended up fighting US forces after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.” A Russian newspaper described him as an ethnic Tatar Muslim, a tank specialist who completed his active duty inside the Soviet Union, not Afghanistan. After a failed attempt at jihad in Chechnya in 1999 (pro-Russian Chechens executed most of his comrades), he was detained in 2004 by Pakistani forces while trying to cross into Afghanistan (the first of two failed attempts to do so, see here) and deported back to Russia. US officials, quoted by the Post, said he was wounded during an assault on an Afghan border post in 2009 and later captured. He is suspected of involvement in several attacks in which American troops were wounded or killed and is reportedly being considered for a military trial. A released detainee, Fazal Kareem, told The Guardian in July 2014 that he Hamidullan was on hunger strike.
7 Amanatullah Ali, Pakistani, ISN 1432. According to his lawyers (also see here) he was in Iraq to visit the holy cities of Najaf and Karbala (as a rice exporter, he regularly made business trips to Iran) when he was detained by UK forces in Iraq in February 2004 and handed over to US forces and thence to Bagram. In the Pakistan government’s list, he is also called Ahmad Dilshad and appears under this name (but with the same ISN number) in the list of Bagram detainees released by the US military in 2009. Curiously, since he is Shia, he was accused of being a member of the Sunni-sectarian Pakistani group Lashkar-e Tayba and indeed this was how his detention was reported in the Indian press and re-reported elsewhere. Amanatullah Ali’s brother said that, in November 2011, the Bagram Detainee Review Board had telephoned him to say he had been cleared for release. Won a case in the UK Supreme court that his transfer was illegal (see main text).
8 Abdul Haleem Saifullah, Pakistani, ISN 2505 (named as Abdul Alim in the 2009 US list of detainees. His lawyers say he was born in 1985 and worked as a labourer in Karachi. They said he dropped his father, Abdul Halim, who had been suffering from paralysis, off at a clinic in Karachi in 2005, “saying he would run a few errands and return soon, but was never seen again.” News came from the ICRC in 2006 that he was in an “unidentified detention facility” in Afghanistan and then, in 2007, that he was in Bagram.
9 Amal Khan, Pakistani, ISN 1474. According to his lawyers, he is a 32 years old man from Mansehra who travelled to Afghanistan to find work in July 2002 and vanished shortly after. In early 2003, his family learned he was in Bagram.
10 Fazal Karim, Pakistani, ISN 1897. According to his lawyers, his family is originally from Swat, but is long settled in Karachi and he is a businessman. They say he was abducted while on a business trip to Peshawar in 2003. His family found out he was in Bagram in 2005 through the ICRC. They said he has told his family that at his interrogation, “he was physically abused and kept in solitary confinement.” Lawyers say the Pakistan Embassy in Kabul disclosed he had been cleared for release at least as far back as February 2011.
11 Mohammad Eqbal, Pakistani. According to the Justice Project Pakistan (by email to AAN), he is 31 years old and a khateeb – someone who gives Friday sermons. It says that, on 15 May 2012, he went with some Afghan friends to visit “the birthplace of a religious person” and was detained soon after crossing the border (his Afghan counterparts were released).
12 Abdul Jabbar. Described in The State of the Taliban as “IMU [Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan] Deputy Commander Kunduz Province.” He could be either from Uzbekistan or an Afghan Uzbek or even a Pakistani .
There are ten other detainees named as Pakistani nationals by Islamabad for whom there is no further information:
13 Saiful Rahman
14 Jaber Zaher
15 Faitullah (sic)
16 Mohammad Amin
19 Nur Islam
20 Aziz Arafat
21 Mohammad Akram
1) The number of detainees has fluctuated widely since the detention centre was first set up on Bagram airbase in 2002. In the documents released under the Freedom of Information request, the US military said the number of detainees, at that time – February 2009 – had been stable, between 550 and 650 during the previous “several years.” During the ‘surge’, (December 2009 to September 2012) numbers appear to have risen sharply, as the US military, in particular, pursued a determined ‘capture or kill’ policy (the number of Afghans held at Bagram went up from 300 to 5000). Numbers began to fall again with the transition and the reduction in combat operations and the looming end of the ISAF mission in December 2014 .
2) The advisor to the Prime Minister on foreign affairs, Sartaj Aziz, informed the Pakistani parliament that, according to the US Embassy, the following Pakistani 24 nationals were detained at Bagram: Fazel Khan/Fazel Karim, Abdul Halim Saifullah Mohammad Eqbal, Saiful Rahman, Jaber Zaher, Abdullah (Abdul Nabi), Imranul Hassan, Sardar Mohammad, Imran Rassoul, Anal [sic, should be Amal] Khan, Faitullah, Mumtaz Khan/Imtiaz Khan, Mohammad Eqbal, Mohammad Amin, Amanatullah/Ahmad Dilshad, Shoaib Khan, Mohammad, Latifullah, Hafizullah, Abdullah, Nur Islam, Aziz Arafat, Mohammad Akram and Saifullah.
3) The numbers are as follows:
24 Pakistanis in detention according to the Pakistan government on 5 August 2014
16 Pakistanis released in November 2013 and May 2014
One other likely Pakistani (Wahidullah)
Two freed Saudis
One freed Palestinian
Two freed Yemenis
Two Pakistanis reclassified as Afghan
Seven other named non-Pakistanis (Muhammad Abdullawi, Abu Ikhlas al-Masri, Redha al-Najar, Irek Hamidullan and finally, Abdul Jabbar (who may be from Uzbekistan or an Afghan ethnic Uzbek)
4) According to the laws of armed conflict, the end of a conflict spells the end of the authority to detain for the duration of hostilities (subject to some reasonable wind-up period). On May 2014, Obama reiterated that “America’s combat mission will be over by the end of this year.” He continued:
Starting next year, Afghans will be fully responsible for securing their country. American personnel will be in an advisory role. We will no longer patrol Afghan cities or towns, mountains or valleys. That is a task for the Afghan people.
Second, I’ve made it clear that we’re open to cooperating with Afghans on two narrow missions after 2014: training Afghan forces and supporting counterterrorism operations against the remnants of al Qaeda.
Today, I want to be clear about how the United States is prepared to advance those missions. At the beginning of 2015, we will have approximately 98,000 U.S. — let me start that over, just because I want to make sure we don’t get this written wrong. At the beginning of 2015, we will have approximately 9,800 U.S. servicemembers in different parts of the country, together with our NATO allies and other partners. By the end of 2015, we will have reduced that presence by roughly half, and we will have consolidated our troops in Kabul and on Bagram Airfield. One year later, by the end of 2016, our military will draw down to a normal embassy presence in Kabul, with a security assistance component, just as we’ve done in Iraq.
There may be legal and practical ‘wriggle room’ on who is responsible for foreign detainees after 31 December 2014, but eventually the US will have to take decisions on any remaining detainees in its hands.
5) AAN looked at this issue in detail a year ago. Then General Barakzai, head of the Afghan detention facility at Bagram told AAN, “Our friends have agreed to hand over those foreign detainees to us,” but said the government did not want to take them. He pointed to the legal problems with a transfer, the “clear right” – and here Barakzai appeared to rule out continuing internment – for the foreign detainees to have their fate decided by a court and according to Afghan law. A court might be able to judge that someone had come to Afghanistan illegally, he said, but how could it decide the fate of someone rendered to Afghanistan? There would also be diplomatic problems: the government, he said, does not want to “face down other countries over their detainees.
6) Transferring the men to Afghan hands would risk breaking the principal of non-refoulement which forbids states from expelling, returning or extraditing a person to another state where there are substantial grounds for believing he would be in danger of being tortured. This principle is binding on all states and is what has made ISAF’s handover of detainees to the NDS (which practices torture) so very problematic. ISAF and the US military is now transferring Afghan detainees to the Afghan side of the Bagram detention centre (known as the Detention Centre in Parwan), which is deemed sufficiently safe.
26 August 2014 2 Yemenis
1 Muhammad Abdallah al Bakri, Yemeni, ISN 1464. Detained in Bangkok, December 2002, by US or Thai intelligence. “According to court papers,” writes The Open Society Foundations, “he was held in secret CIA prisons for about six months before being transferred to Bagram Air Base, and coercively interrogated and tortured in those locations; in CIA detention, he was subjected to serious abuse, resulting in injuries to his knees and back. According to al-Libi, al Bakri was held in the ‘Dark Prison’, ‘Rissat’ prison and a prison in the Panjshir Valley before being transferred to Bagram. It writes that, since 2010, he has been cleared three times for release by US military detainee release boards.
2 Fadi al Maqaleh, Yemeni, ISN 1815. The Open Society Foundations writes that he was seized in 2004 and held in CIA custody before being transferred to Bagram. It quotes al-Libi as alleging he was held in Abu Ghraib in Iraq for a time. In March 2009, his habeas corpus petition was granted by US District Court Judge John D Bates. The ruling was overturned by the Court of Appeals (the DC Circuit Court) in May 2010.
Annex: recent Pakistani releases
21 August 2014: 9 Pakistanis (names and places from the Ministry of Interior, via the Justice Project Pakistan.
1 Shoaib Khan/Shoaib Ahmed, ISN 3764. His lawyers say he was born in 1975 and grew up in Abbottabad and is a graduate and married with three children. They say that, in early 2008, he was “routinely travelling for work and was not heard from for several months.” Towards the end of 2008, his family received information from the ICRC that he was detained in Bagram.
2 Mohammad Eqbal, Karachi
3 Abdullah (Abdul Nabi) Pangoure District, Balochistan
4 Imranul Hassan, Lahore, Punjab
5 Sardar Mohammad, Qalai Haroot, Balochistan
6 Mumtaz Khan/Imtiaz Khan, Tasir Barawali District, KPK
7 Latifullah, Lakki Marwat, KPK
8 Zabet (FATA). No mention of a man by this name on the Pakistani government’s 5 August list.
9 Imran (FATA). According to the Justice Project Pakistan, his full name is Imran son of Rasul Mohammad (ISN # 5667). He appears in the government’s 5 August list of detainees, as Imran Rassoul.
13 May 2014, 10 Pakistanis, (nine of the ten are now home; one is still under investigation and in Pakistani custody)
1 Nasir Mohmand Awal Noor, ISN 2096. His lawyers say he was born in 1990 and was orphaned at a young age; when 16 years old and was working as a goatherd in the summer 2006, in Paktika Margha, along the border region of Pakistan and Afghanistan, when he disappeared. That winter, a fellow goat-herder contacted his family, saying he had been lost after an American aerial bombardment. The family assumed he had died, but, in 2008 learned he was detained in Bagram. A former detainee said he had been detained after being wounded in a US bombing;
2 Iftikhar Ahmed, ISN 20235. According to his lawyers, he is 23 year old, mentally-ill and from Pakpattan, who from 2009, had been making trips to the area around Quetta to work as a labourer on water boring projects. He made his last trip in January 2010 and when the project was finished in February, called his family to tell them he would be returning the next day. He never came home and his mobile number was constantly switched off. In June 2010, they heard from the ICRC that he was in Bagram. The lawyers said he had “managed to convey to his family that he was picked up by the American forces in the border area of Chamman and taken to Bagram.”
3 Paizoo Khan, ISN 20621. The Justice Project Pakistan said he is an old man and was a taxi driver; he had been driving a family to Kilipoti Waliyatzabul on 12 August 2010 when NATO forces raided the area and he was captured. His lawyers say he was first sent to Kandahar jail and then taken to Bagram. His family thought he had died, until November 2010 when they were contacted by ICRC who said he was in Bagram.
4 Yunus Rahmatullah (Sallah Muhammad), ISN 1433. According to his lawyers, he is a 32 year old man from Baluchistan, who, in 2004 was working in real estate in Iraq, when he was captured by British soldiers. The British handed him over to American troops, and soon after he was rendered from Iraq to Bagram. Won a case in the UK Supreme court that his transfer was illegal (see main text).
5 Bismillah Khan. According to information given to AAN by Justice Project Pakistan, he is 84 years old and was living with his family in South Waziristan in an area called Dakhona Sararogha when he disappeared in the winter of 2005. They said it was five to six years before his family learned (via the family of another detainee) that he was, in fact, detained in Bagram.
6 Abdul Sattar. “A 26-year-old preacher,” said The Guardian, “who spent about two and a half years locked in Bagram before his release in May” (ie his detention would have been in late 2011). Interviewed by the paper after his release from Bagram, he said he had been detained in Paktika on suspicion of carrying weapons in his car, something he “strongly denied”. He said he was coerced into making a false confession and, like many of the detainees, had been on hunger strike.
There is no other information about the four other detainees released:
7 Farman Shah
8 Shah Khalid
9 Wajid Rehman
16 November 2013 six Pakistanis
1 Hamidullah Khan, ISN 3718. According to his lawyers, in July 2008 when he was 14 years old, he travelled from Karachi to his father’s village in Waziristan to salvage the family’s possessions from their home during a military operation. His friend, Khairullah, who travelled with him by bus from Karachi to Dera Ismail Khan, parted with him and he told him to wait for him to return from Waziristan within the next two days so they could travel back to Karachi together. Khairullah never saw Hamidullah again.
2 Abdul Qadir Imran/Iman Khan, ISN 2422. According to his lawyers, he was a labourer and bus conductor (studied up until grade eight in his village school). In 2005, he travelled with a friend, the next detainee, Mohammed Riaz, to Afghanistan on holiday. Once they reached Jalalabad, the taxi in which they were traveling was stopped and both men were arrested by Afghan soldiers and transferred to US custody. The two Afghan men who were traveling with them were not arrested.
3 Mohammed Riaz, Pakistani, ISN 2421. His lawyers said he is a 29 year old from Barra, Khyber Agency, detained while travelling in Afghanistan in 2005, with the previous detainee.
4 Palak Jan, Pakistani. The Justice Project Pakistan told AAN he was a carpenter, living near Peshawar and was offered work in Jalalabad with decent wages which he accepted. While there, the Afghan army raided the house he was staying in and arrested him. He spent eight years in Bagram and, they say, “kept in a small cell for 15 days for interrogation and…tortured very badly.”
Of the other men released, there is no information.
5 Abdul Karim
6 Sabeel Suleiman
This article was last updated on 9 Mar 2020