Close Guantánamo In the news Ahmed Rabbani

Collateral damage: the impact of Guantanamo on a family

Ahmed Rabbani is Pakistani Rohingya and is currently being held in Guantanamo Bay. Following his divorce in 2002, he had just remarried and – unknown to him at the time – his wife was pregnant when he was captured in Karachi on September 10, 2002. His youngest son was born some months later. They have never met.

He was picked up by the Pakistani authorities and handed over to the US, then taken to the Dark Prison in Kabul where he says he was tortured for 540 days. It is believed he had been falsely identified as Hassan Ghul, a Pakistani member of al-Qaeda.

Later, it was reported (in the US Senate Report on CIA Interrogation, 2014) that the US had captured Ghul and even held him briefly in the Dark Prison – but then let him go back to Pakistan. He was killed in a drone strike in 2012. Ahmed, meanwhile, was rendered to Guantanamo Bay.

Since 2013, Ahmed has been on a hunger strike in peaceful protest against his detention. He is force-fed every day. He has an older son and daughter from an earlier marriage who are now in their early 20s. This is his description of the impact of his detention without trial on his children (whose names have been omitted for the sake of privacy). It was dictated to his human rights lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith.

Read Ahmed’s testimony at Al-Jazeera.