Ahmed Rabbani has been unanimously cleared for release from Guantánamo by the Periodic Review Board.
The Board is made up of senior officials from six US agencies, including the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Departments of Defence, Homeland Security, Justice and State.
In 2002, Ahmed was falsely identified as wanted man Hassan Ghul and sold to US personnel in Pakistan. Although they soon realised they had the wrong man, they took him to Afghanistan and tortured him in black sites for 545 days. The abuse he was subjected to is documented in the US Senate torture report.
He has been detained without charge or trial by the US for 19 years, the last 17 of them at Guantánamo. He has never met his son, Jawad, who was born after he was taken into US custody.
Reprieve welcomes Ahmed’s clearance and now urges the US to make speedy arrangements for his transfer to Pakistan, so that he may be reunited with his family.
Reprieve’s Guantánamo attorney Mark Maher said:
“Ahmed’s clearance is long overdue. For those of us who have supported him, the feeling is one of relief, tempered with sadness for all he has lost. The PRB result is a positive step, but we won’t celebrate until he is back with his family in Pakistan and able to hug his 19-year-old son for the first time.”