As arguments begin in the case of Toffiq al-Bihani and ten others seeking release from arbitrary detention in Guantanamo Bay, Amnesty International reiterated its call for their release and the closure of the facility.
“It is unconscionable that Mr. al-Bihani remains imprisoned without charge or trial at Guantanamo eight years after being cleared to leave, and having never even been accused of a crime” said Daphne Eviatar, Amnesty International USA’s Director of Security with Human Rights. “Toffiq al-Bihani’s case highlights how the United States continues to employ arbitrary imprisonment, while offering impunity to those responsible for torture.”
Al -Bihani, who was detained 15 years ago, is one of eleven detainees seeking their release from arbitrary detention in this federal court action after their prolonged imprisonment without charge or trial at Guantanamo. Al-Bihani is a 46-year-old Yemeni citizen, born and raised in Saudi Arabia, who has been held in Guantanamo since February 6, 2003. He was arrested seventeen years ago by Iranian police, transferred to Afghan custody until he was turned over to U.S. custody in Afghanistan. According to the 2014 Senate report on the CIA torture program, he was subjected to torture while in U.S. custody. He was eventually transferred to Guantanamo Bay in early 2003.
On January 22, 2010, U.S. authorities determined that al-Bihani could be transferred to Yemen if the security situation improves there, or to a third country. Saudi Arabia, where al-Bihani has eleven brothers and sisters, has agreed to accept him. Yet he remains imprisoned today, eight years after being approved for transfer. Al-Bihani is one of forty men who remain imprisoned after being deprived of due process and fair trials for well over a decade – men that have suffered both the physical and psychological consequences of indefinite detention and torture in Guantanamo.