Jeddah, Asharq Al-Awsat- The family of a Saudi Guantanamo detainee recently discovered his whereabouts after believing him missing for five years.
According to his family Saudi detainee Zayd Al Husayn al-Ghamidi went missing after the events of September 11th 2001 but had recently discovered his whereabouts when his name was reported with those of Guantanamo’s Jordanian detainees in a list issued by American authorities last March and from the testimonies of several of the 16 detainees who were recently released.
Katib al-Shammari, lawyer for Saudi detainees in Guantanamo and their families’ asserted to Asharq al-Awsat that the number of Saudi detainees in Guantanamo has risen to 75 following confirmation of the identity of Zayd Al Husayn al-Ghamidi who remained registered in the American detention center’s records as a Jordanian for five years.
Al-Shammari also affirmed that messages were written through official channels to all the competent parties and legal organizations in connection with the 75 th Saudi detainee following confirmation of his presence in the center and was now waiting for the American authorities’ response. He added that there is no information so far about the circumstances, date, and venue of the arrest.
The Saudi lawyer attributed al-Ghamidi’s circumstances to the American authorities’ confusion, the illegality of their measures, in addition to the personal desire of some detainees not to contact their families or Red Cross representatives as a form of protest at their detention and jail conditions or the American authorities’ reservations about their messages for fear of any information that might be leaked through them. He did not rule out the appearance of more Saudi detainees other than Al-Ghamidi, especially as the number of missing persons since 9/11 is large “and anything might be expected to happen, particularly in view of the confusion shown by the American authorities in dealing with the Guantanamo detainees.”
On a encouraging note, Al-Shammari expects a breakthrough and positive development to happen in favor of the 75 Saudi detainees during the coming weeks and months, saying that political changes in the United States and constant pressures on the US administration to close Guantanamo make the conditions opportune more than at any time for the efforts of countries and international organizations to release the Guantanamo detainees.