Adham Mohammed Ali Awad

Gossamer Thin.  Would you want to be imprisoned indefinitely without charge on gossamer thin grounds?  What would that feel like to you?  Especially if you had been captured at age 19, tortured, transported to a hell on earth far from your home and family, and it is now a decade later?

These are the circumstances of Adman Mohammed Ali Awad.  From Yemen, he says he traveled to Afghanistan to visit a Muslim country, according to Andy Worthington’s account which you can read here, in September  2001. Worthington continues, that he said he “‘was injured and knocked unconscious during an air raid while walking through a market in Kandahar.’ When he woke up in the hospital, he said, he discovered that he had lost his right foot, ‘that he was heavily medicated, floated in and out of consciousness, slept constantly, and could barely sit up.’ He added that he ‘remained in this condition until his capture.’”

Against this statement are the usual wild and unsubstantiated allegations about Adham Mohammed Ali Awar, perhaps exacted under torture from another prisoner or given by bounty hunters at the time of his capture at the hospital.  In a horrible perversion of justice, US judge James Robertson said that the case against Awad was “gossimer thin,” “The evidence is of a kind fit only for these unique proceedings and has very little weight.”

Why are the proceedings “unique?”  Why does law not count in these circumstances?  What is the legal reason for suspending the legal system?  The fact that the law is suspended in Guantanamo and other black sites around the world has led, inevitably, to the suspension of the law elsewhere.  Now Obama claims to and does execute US citizens without any legal proceedings.   Let us not delude ourselves that the law will continue to be suspended any time it is convenient and anywhere.

In fact, Adham Mohammed Ali Awad is another of the men who languish in a living death in the Guantanamo torture camp without valid legal cause. He has never been charged nor tried. He is illegally and unjustly imprisoned with no hope of being released.

Can we not see that until he is free, none of us is safe from such extra-judicial treatment?  I have grandsons nearly his age when captured.  How would I feel if one of them, visiting a foreign country, were hurt, hospitalized, and turned over to an invading country to be tortured and imprisoned for over a decade with no end in sight?  Can we not act to make this right, not just for Adham Mohammed Ali Awad, but for all of us?  How does this relate to the hundreds of thousands of young men in New York city who are stopped and frisked and abused by the police every year on no grounds?  How does it relate to the largest prison population in the world, in which torture is also practiced, in the US itself?  Can we not see the erosion of rights in the US?  Can we not connect the dots from here to Guantanamo?

Adham Mohammed Ali Awad must be freed and indemnified.

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