Washington D.C., Asharq Al-Awsat – In a passionate plea to the American people, the family of a Saudi detainee in Guantanamo Bay, allegedly in Afghanistan on a charitable mission when the US invaded, sought assurances about his health and the amputations of both legs and pleaded for him to be returned home.
Abdullah al Anzi, aged 26, was transferred to Cuba in 2002 after being arrested in Afghanistan. In a letter distributed to lawyers and members of the press, the family pleaded with the authorities to release information on “the state of our beloved son” and questioned why he has been detained for so long.
Seen by Asharq al Awsat, the letter said, “The father has lost his son and protector; he contemplates his son’s picture and kisses it every day. The mother has lost her spirit and her life is changed forever. She has seen one doctor after another and become a subject for experimental drugs. All those close to her know the cure: the return of Abdullah”, but who can save her? Every time the mother moves around her house, she starts crying when she sees her son’s drawings and sports clothes. She is attached to his picture and gazes at it, as if waiting for him to talk back: Where is your humanity? Let all women read these words.”
Abdullah’s 27 siblings urged all those involved to act to free their brother. “Why is he [in Guantanamo Bay ]? Where his legs amputated? Is charitable work wrong? If so, we apologize on his behalf. His younger brothers and sisters keep asking, “Who will take us to school?””
“Everyone in our village can testify that Abdullah is a human and responsible person. He is a well-behaved and sensitive young man. Everyone awaits his return and the dream remains alive”, the letter said.
Meanwhile, the Center for Constitutional Rights has revealed Abdullah’s lawyer complained to the US government that his client was not receiving the appropriate medical care after he visited Camp Delta in Cuba in August 2005.
Renowned for its information on detainees in Guantanamo, the New York City based Center confirmed that Abdullah had lost both legs and was currently relying on two artificial limbs “that did not fit properly and were provided by the US military”, causing him constant pain and septicemia caused by the metal rings joining the artificial limbs to his body.
Abdullah was injured in Afghanistan were he was working for charity around the time the US assault on Afghanistan began, in the wake of the September 11 attacks. In hospital being treated for his wounds, Abdullah was kidnapped by mercenaries and sold to the US military.
Recalling his ordeal, Abdullah said, “I was pounced upon like a hawk would capture [a mouse], and sold like a fat sheep.” Between the start of the bombings and his arrival in Guantanamo, both of Mr. Al Anazi”s legs were amputated below the knee
Anant Raut, a lawyer at Weil & Gotshar, who represents Abdullah, commenting on his client’s condition, said, “"There was a time when we had the moral high ground in the war on terror. Now the government is withholding medical treatment from a double amputee in the name of intelligence gathering. The only reliable thing about information intelligence gained from torture is that it is 100 percent unreliable."