Ahmed Rabbani was a taxi driver in Pakistan who intelligence services mistook for a known extremist. He endured 545 days of torture in CIA custody before then being rendered to Guantánamo.
Ahmed has been held there since 2004. He has never been charged with a crime, and never had a trial. Since 2013, he has undertaken a series of hunger strikes in a peaceful protest at his indefinite detention. He is still on hunger strike today.
I’m stuck in Guantánamo and the world has forgotten about me.Ahmed Rabbani
Ahmed is a Pakistani national of Rohingya Burmese ethnic background. His family migrated to Saudi Arabia, where he was born and raised. In September 2002, when he was 32 years old, Ahmed was living in Karachi.
He was married and his wife had recently given birth to their son. He was working as a taxi driver when the Pakistani intelligence service came to his house and arrested him. But they had got the wrong man. It was later revealed in the Senate Torture Report that the intelligence services thought Ahmed was a well-known extremist named Hassan Ghul.
Ahmed was soon sold for a bounty of $5,000 to the U.S. authorities, where his torture continued.
Ahmed was subjected to ‘enhanced interrogation techniques.’ He has described being tortured constantly during his 545 days in CIA secret prisons, including the ‘Dark Prison’, a site that takes its name from the complete blackness in which the prisoners were held. The techniques used on Ahmed included strappado, which is designed gradually and painfully to dislocate the shoulders.
In September 2004, Ahmed arrived at Guantánamo.
His wife was pregnant at the time and just five months later she gave birth to their son, Jawad Rabbani. Jawad has never met his father. He is now 17 and studying in Karachi, only ever able to speak to his dad on the phone sometimes.
Ahmed often feels like the world has forgotten about him. We are fighting to show Ahmed that that isn’t true. And to get the justice he deserves.