We applaud the repatriation of Abdul Latif Nasser, who was detained at Guantanamo for 19 years without charge. Nasser was cleared for release from the prison camp in July, 2016 but has languished there for over 4 years awaiting transfer home. He has been returned to his native Morocco.
While we applaud this step forward, we note that 39 men remain at Guantanamo, including 10 men who have been cleared for release. We also must note that the nightmare of detention does not end for many men, even after they are transferred out of the prison camp.
That is certainly the case for the 17 men who were transferred to the United Arab Emirates and who are currently imprisoned under torturous, inhuman conditions, in the dungeons of al-Razeen prison, one of the most notorious prisons in the world. Not a single one of these men have ever been charged with any crime, let alone found guilty of anything, and in fact, it is the opposite: every one of these men have either been found by federal courts to be wrongfully detained or otherwise cleared by the U.S. as no danger to anyone.
One of the men transferred to the UAE is now facing rendition to his native Russia, where his fate could be even worse.
Ravil Mingazov, a former ballet dancer, fled Tatarstan, Russia, to escape religious persecution and find a new life in a Muslim country for his young family. In 2002, Pakistani police seized and sold him for bounty to the U.S. He was tortured and then shipped to Guantánamo, where he was trapped for 15 years. In 2010, a federal court ordered his release, and in 2016, the U.S. cleared him as “not dangerous.” Threatened with prison or death if sent to Russia (the fates of others rendered to Russia from Guantánamo), Ravil was sent instead in 2017 to the UAE, which assured the U.S. that after 6 months in a “rehabilitation center,” he would be released with a job and housing. Instead, they threw him in al-Razeen prison, where he and the others have been kept – under tortuous, inhumane conditions – for four-and-a-half years.
Human rights advocates will protest the upcoming rendition of former Guantánamo detainee Ravil Mingazov from a prison in the UAE to Russia. They will gather at the UAE Cultural Attaché Office to demand the release of Ravil and 17 other former Guantánamo detainees imprisoned in the UAE, their immediate humane treatment subject to oversight, and no rendition to Russia or Yemen.
Protesters will not only demand the UAE release the men — the UN has condemned the UAE for their imprisonment and mistreatment — but also will demand that the Biden administration, which is complicit, act immediately on their behalf.
Gary Thompson and Kristin Davis, attorneys for Ravil, will speak.
Co-sponsored by CodePink, Defending Rights and Dissent, Justice for Muslims Collective, No More Guantánamos and Witness Against Torture.