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Guantánamo children

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Cori Crider
London Guardian
Sunday, July 20, 2008

In a submission to the UN in May, the Pentagon said that no more than eight youths, aged 13 to 17 at time of capture, were held at Guantánamo Bay. But a prisoner list released in 2006 in response to US freedom of information act litigation names 21 inmates under 18 when they arrived. A separate defence department admission brings the total to 22. Testimonies collected by the charity Reprieve, which represents 30 inmates at Guantánamo, indicate the actual number is much higher.

Guantánamo’s child prisoners came from all over the world: they were Afghan, Yemeni, Saudi, Russian, Uighuri, and Canadian. Five of them are still there. They are: Mohammed el Gharani, aged 14-15 when he was seized while praying in a Karachi mosque; Hassan bin Attash, aged 16-17 when seized in Pakistan, and rendered to Jordan where he endured 16 months of torture before being transferred; Faris Muslim Al Ansari, an Afghan-Yemeni who was 17 when captured; Mohamed Jawad, an Afghan who was 17 when seized and faces trial by military commission; and Omar Khadr.

Saudi citizen Yasser Talal Al Zahrani, 17 when captured, joined a prison-wide hunger strike in 2005. He was found dead in his cell in June 2006 after apparently killing himself.


This article was posted: Sunday, July 20, 2008 at 5:22 am





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