Mohammed al-Ansi: An Eloquent Plea for Justice

‘“All of the prisoners here are trying to leave this place. All the prisoners are telling lies about other prisoners just to get out of here. All these allegations are lies and I want the truth.’ He also asked to see the papers from his CSRT [military tribunal in Guantanamo], saying, ‘There is no proof whatsoever that I was a bodyguard for Osama bin Laden, and no proof that I have ever received any training. It is my right to request the people who said these things and made these allegations against me.”‘ This statement from Mohammed al-Ansi is found on Andy Worthington’s website, which you can read here.   Al-Ansi said he wanted to help the education of Afghans in the Quran after hearing a local imam speak in his native Yemen.

Also, al-Ansi’s claims that he had been teaching in Pakistan, where he was captured, and that all of bin Laden’s body guards had been captured before he was, were suppressed at one of his hearings.  These injustices caused him to demand common legal procedures, which the US  refused.

The kangaroo court in Guantánamo where Mohammed al-Ansi made his eloquent plea for justice denied him the right to see the documents which are “classified.”  That certainly must be translated here as “obtained under torture and therefore not admissible in any real court of law anywhere in the world.”

One principle of most legal systems in the world today is that a person accused of crimes must be able to study and confront any evidence that is brought to bear against her or him.  The accused person must also know the source of all evidence.  There are many breaches of these principles in fact, but these are principles of international and national law virtually everywhere.  At one time, the Anglo-Saxon countries, including the US, prided themselves on such legal principles which were not so universally accepted; but especially since the United Nations and since WWII, these principles are widely accepted in the world.

Tragically, it is the US which has flagrantly violated these principles since the Bush regime.  A striking example is in the case of Mohammed al-Ansi.

All of the prisoners there have been tortured.  The US government does not officially dispute that, but neither does it repudiate the torture and act to both stop it and make amends and reparations for these terrible acts that illegal not just by international law but by US law as well.

Recent revelations of the use of torture to elicit information from prisoners about other prisoners, to get them to cooperate with the US’s illegal aims, are only substantiation for what most of us knew must be the case anyway.  It is always good to have the documents, the proof, but we already knew from the prisoners’ stories themselves.

When will we all demand the release and indemnification of Mohammed al-Ansi and the other prisoners and the trial, in real law courts and without torture of the accused parties, of the US officials responsible for these events? Real justice can be easily served in these matters using the international and US standards of justice that the US regularly denies others.


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