Not A Danger Or A Threat At All

Nabil Hadjarab as a child.jpg

Nabil Hadjarab as a child   NB photographs of prisoners at the site are rare.  This childhood photo was probably supplied by Nabil’s family.

The US authorities cleared Nabil Hadjarab for release nearly four years ago and said at the time that he was “not a danger or threat at all.”  The lawyers with the British organization Reprieve, an organization which works through the law to enforce the human rights of all prisoners at Guantánamo, say that they have met him and he is “sweet, he is gentle, he is a kind man and even his guards in Guantánamo have gone on record to say that Nabil is a very kind person.”  This is reported by Andy Worthington on CagePrisoners.  You can read the full article here.

Though he was cleared under the Bush regime, Nabil languishes still in Guantánamo’s torture camp and hell on earth.

According to the article on his website Andy reports that Nabil had lived in France, spent six months in London, and then went to Afghanistan in March of 2001 to study the Quran.  He denies having trained at the camp at al-Farouq.  He stayed for a time in Jalalabad, but fled to the mountains because in the internecine conflicts that raged in Afghanistan during the time before the US invasion, there was local persecution of Arabs.  He was betrayed by Afghans whom he trusted who sold him to the US.

Even though his case was finally heard at Guantánamo and he was cleared, Nabil Hadjarab was not released.  Let us read his own version of events in a letter of 2010 to Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France, asking for permission to go there to be with his family.  The letter in French, presented here in the Van Ness translation, is posted on the Reprieve website:

“My lawyers have informed me that they cannot do much to prevent my forced repatriation to Algeria, even though that is against my will.  Despite their efforts, I see that there is little help from American justice.  It is thus to you that I turn, hoping that you will know how to take my torment into account and to spare me the awful fate that awaits me.

“I have spent eight years in prison without any charge having been filed against me; in spite of that, the course of justice here did not prevent the US administration from sending me against my will where they want and without my having any indication of the fate reserved for me.  In Algeria, there is no one concerned with my lot, no one to whom I can turn for help to get back on my feet after these difficult years.  I will be alone, without work and without resources.

“After all this time alone in isolation, I do not want to find myself alone again, reduced to asking for charity.  For me the greatest value is dignity.  They took away my human dignity for eight years during which I have been subjected to severe abuses about which I do not even want to speak.  Today, I need your help in order for my dignity to be restored. …”

His uncle, a French citizen who would receive Nabil like a son, joined his appeal to Nabil’s.  Since his brother, Nabil’s father, had served France and General de Gaulle during the war in Algeria, he says:

‘It seems to me that if the General were still alive today, he would have responded favorably to my request.  There is no doubt that he would have thought that Nabil’s father having served France so well, it would be difficult to consider Nabil a foreigner.  I think that he would have said ‘yes’ to my request. …”

Lamentably, Sarkozy, a US sycophant, refused.

Nabil Hadjarab must be released to wherever he wants to go.  The US must persuade Sarkozy that it is imperative that this young man, tortured and abused ruthlessly without cause and held for nearly a decade now, rejoin his family.


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