Fawzi al Odah

Fawzi al Odah has been released from the US torture camp at Guantanamo after 13 years there.  Andy Worthington, world authority on the prisoners quoted many times on this blog, says that he learned from Jenifer Fenton, a writer for Al-Jazeera American whom he has met, that Fawzi’s father said Fawzi “excelled in school and graduated from Kuwait University with a degree in Islamic studies and became a teacher,” adding that Fawzi “had spent his summer vacation in 2000 with other religious Kuwaitis in Pakistan, teaching and distributing money to people in villages near the Afghan border.” On his return, “he told his father he was very interested in relief work and he wanted to do charity work every year.” For 2001, Khalid al-Odah said, “he planned to help Afghan refugees.”

Worthington continues with information from Fenton:

“However, as Fawzi himself explained at a hearing at Guantánamo a decade ago, it was his ‘bad luck and bad timing’ that the 9/11 attacks happened while he was in Afghanistan. Like many other Arabs, he fled the country, as news spread that foreigners were being sold for bounty payments, but as he crossed into Pakistan, despite asking to be taken to the Kuwaiti Embassy, he was sent to Guantánamo via the US prisons in Afghanistan.”

Alas, Fawzi is not the only aide worker to have been sold for bounty to the US, tortured and imprisoned in Guantanamo for over a decade.

Read the news report of his release here and what Andy Worthington says about him on his website here.

I am very glad to be able to report Fawzi’s release.  I lament the fact that 148 others languish in that torture camp where abuses continue to this day.  I also hope that Fawzi will not suffer the rest of his days form having lived nearly one third of his life in the torture camp.

What are we doing to help bring about the release of the remaining 148 men still in the Quantanamo torture camp? What are we doing to see that the US gives all 779 of the original prisoners restitution for the terrible wrongs done to them?  What are we doing about prisoners in other US black sites who have been or are being tortured?  We fool ourselves if we fail to recognize that abuse continues in Guantanamo and elsewhere under a second US administration.

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