Fahed Ghazi

The exact age of Fahed Ghazi when he was captured is not clear, but Human Rights Watch says that he was seventeen years old at the time and thus a juvenile (other reports say he was nineteen years old when captured).  In a letter to Attorney General Holder of the Obama regime in March of 2009, Human Rights Watch said:

“In addition to being bound by treaties governing juvenile justice, the United States is also party to treaties that recognize the special situation of children who have been recruited or used in armed conflict. The Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict prohibits the use of children under age 18 in armed conflict and obliges the US to support the rehabilitation and social reintegration of children who have been recruited or used in violation of the protocol.”

This letter was written about several juveniles imprisoned and tortured at Guantanamo, so even if Fahed were not a juvenile, there are clearly others who are.

Fahed Ghazi himself wrote this as part of a statement presented to one of the annual reviews that are part of the spurious proceedings that pass for but are not legal:

“I have been classified as an enemy combatant in the past months and sadly I do not know why.”

The US allegations against him do indeed say he is an “al-Qaeda fighter,” but no proof of that is presented.  He also says in that statement:

“I traveled from Yemen at a young age. I knew nothing about international laws and the state of the world. I was only seventeen years old at the time. I had just completed my high school exams and had not yet received the results thereof. For this reason I intended to return to Yemen after one month so as to continue my education to university level. This way I would develop and enlighten my mind as well as acquire a job that would enable me to spend on myself and my family. (That is; my wife and my baby daughter whom I did not see except for five days in a two month period.) I then traveled when she was only two months old.”  You can read the complete statement here.

Human Rights Watch also says that Fahed Ghazi was held for some time “in the more restrictive camps where detainees are locked into a single cell 23 hours a day.”  It sounds like the prison treatment of young US soldier Bradley Manning; the US is now just as willing to torture its own young men as it is those of other countries.

Fahed Ghazi was cleared by the courts for release during the Bush regime, but that was challenged by the regime.  He remains in the torture camp.  He says, very naturally, that he wants to return to his family and care for them.  It is not only a shame but a crime that he is not free to do that.


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