News ID: 115762
Publish Date : 06 June 2023 - 22:31

UN Condemns Torture of Saudi Prisoner in Guantanamo, Calls for Release

NEW YORK (Middle East Eye) – A United Nations group of rights experts has released a scathing report criticizing the U.S. and more than half a dozen other countries for the torture and inhumane treatment of a Saudi detainee currently awaiting trial at Guantanamo Bay.
In addition to the U.S., the UN working group on arbitrary detention also named Afghanistan, Lithuania, Morocco, Poland, Romania, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates, where the detainee, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, was captured in 2002.
The group of experts adopted the non-binding report in November 2022, but did not release it until last week.
It called for Nashiri’s immediate release and for him to receive compensation, adding that the war crimes court at Guantanamo deprives him of “fair trial guarantees that would ordinarily apply within the judicial system of the United States”.
“The Working Group considers that, taking into account all the circumstances of the case, the appropriate remedy would be to release Mr. al-Nashiri immediately and accord him an enforceable right to compensation and other reparations, in accordance with international law,” the report said.
The authors reached out to all countries for a response, but did not receive any comment from Thailand, Afghanistan, the U.S. or the UAE. Middle East Eye reached out to the U.S. State Department and Emirati embassy in Washington for comment, but didn’t receive a response by time of publication.
The release of the report comes after lawyers for Nashiri filed a complaint with the Investigatory Powers Tribunal, a court that hears allegations of wrongdoing by British security services.
Nashiri’s lawyers have called on the tribunal to consider his complaint, which accused UK agencies of having “aided, abetted, encouraged, facilitated and/or conspired with the U.S. authorities in his mistreatment”.
Nashiri is one of Guantanamo’s several “high-value detainees” identified by the U.S. government.
He is accused of plotting Al-Qaeda’s bombing of the U.S. Navy destroyer Cole off the coast of Yemen in 2000, which killed 17 U.S. servicemen.
Nashiri was captured two years later and spent four years in CIA custody, where he was subjected to waterboarding, isolation, sleep deprivation and mock executions. For a decade, his case has been bogged down in pretrial proceedings as the court tries to deal with the legacy of the torture.
In 2015, Poland awarded him 100,000 euros ($113,500) after the European Court of Human Rights condemned the country for hosting secret CIA prisons, saying it knowingly abetted the unlawful imprisonment of Nashiri between 2002 and 2003.