Ahmed Zuhair Released from Guantanamo (UA 350/08)

Saudi Arabian national Ahmed Zaid Salem Zuhair was released from Guantanamo and flown to Saudi Arabia on June 12. He had been held without charge or trial in Guantanamo since June 2002 and had been on hunger strike and a force feeding regime since August 2005. He was seized in a market in late December 2001 in Lahore, Pakistan, by a dozen men in civilian clothes. He was blindfolded and taken to a house where, he said, he was tortured and otherwise ill-treated. He was transferred to a military facility in the capital, Islamabad, and held incommunicado there for about 10 weeks. In mid-March 2002, he was handed over to U.S. custody and held in Bagram air base in Afghanistan. In June 2002, he was transferred to Kandahar, where he was held for two weeks. He was transported to Guantanamo later that month. He said he was ill-treated while in U.S. custody in Afghanistan. In Saudi Arabia, he will be subject to judicial review before undergoing a rehabilitation program, throughout which he will be under the control of the Saudi government. The U.S. Justice Department emphasized that his transfer, as well as those of two other Saudi Arabian nationals, Khalid Saad Mohammed and Abdalaziz Kareem Salim AL Noofayaee, were the result of the review by the Guantanamo Review Task Force set up under an executive order signed by President Barack Obama on January 22.