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Guantánamo inmates resettled in Ireland

by Frank Schnittger Mon Nov 2nd, 2009 at 04:19:19 AM EST

Originally published October 1, 2009

Now also available in Orange

Wait, no electronic bracelets?  No manacles? Terrorists left to roam free and go shopping? Given free lessons in civics and cookery?  The end of civilisation in Ireland is nigh...

Whilst US politicians are apparently terrified at the prospect of Guantánamo inmates being transferred to supermax security prisons in their State, the Irish government is letting former inmates roam free and treating them <shock, horror> as human beings!

Former US detainees begin Irish integration - The Irish Times - Thu, Oct 01, 2009

TWO FORMER Guantánamo Bay detainees who arrived in Ireland for resettlement last weekend have begun a 10-week integration programme and are adjusting slowly to their new environment, according to a Government official.

The Uzbeks, Oybek Jabbarov (31) and Shakhrukh Hamiduva, who is in his mid-20s, travelled to Ireland last Saturday after spending seven years in the US-run detention centre in Cuba.

To help them prepare for their new lives in Ireland, the Department of Justice has organised a 10-week series of intensive courses in civics, cookery and other subjects.

Diary rescue by Migeru


So who are these terrible terrorists who have landed on Ireland's shore and who are now being mollycoddled by the Irish authorities? (h/t Oui)

Guantánamo's refugees | Andy Worthington

Completing this brief guide to the cleared prisoners are the Uzbeks, whose government's human rights abuses are notorious: Shakrukh Hamiduva, just 18 years old at the time of his capture, who was working as a taxi driver in Afghanistan when he was seized by Afghan bounty hunters; Ali Sher Hamidullah, a drifter who explained in Guantánamo that the Uzbek intelligence agents who visited him told him that "the only thing that waits for me in Uzbekistan is a bullet in my head"; Kamalludin Kasimbekov, who had been forcibly recruited to join the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, allies of the Taliban; and Oybek Jabbarov, a 30-year old father of two, who suffers from health problems related to a botched surgical procedure on a ruptured disk in his back in 2007.

Unwillingly transplanted to Afghanistan along with fighters from the IMU, Jabbarov explained in Guantánamo that he made a living "buying and selling sheep, chicken and goats," and was told in December 2001 that the government was giving out ID cards to immigrants at Bagram airbase. "There, I saw American soldiers," he said. "They just took me inside, they questioned me, and they kept me for a few days. I've been detained ever since."

His lawyer, Michael Mone, who recently explained that he had taken on Jabbarov's case because "I felt I could no longer stand on the sidelines and permit this gross executive power grab, which is how I view [Bush's] actions as they relate to torture, rendition, and the creation of Guantánamo as this [legal] black hole," stated that his client had also been threatened by Uzbek intelligence agents. "They at one point showed him a photo array and asked him if he could identify any of the individuals," Mone said in a recent interview. "And when he couldn't identify any of them, one of the Uzbeks banged his fist on the table and said, `When you get back to Uzbekistan, you will know these things.' And Oybek took that to mean that when he got back to Uzbekistan, they would torture him until he told them what they wanted to hear."

So what is happening to them now?

Former US detainees begin Irish integration - The Irish Times - Thu, Oct 01, 2009

Under an agreement between the Government and the US administration, the men have been granted humanitarian leave to remain, a legal status that gives them the right to work and access State services.

While they nominally enjoy the right to travel within the EU, the men have not been issued with travel documents and, as Uzbek nationals, would require visas to visit other European states. Officials say they will be eligible to apply for Irish citizenship after five years.

The men flew into Baldonnel aerodrome on Saturday and were brought directly to the west of the country to begin the integration programme. One of the men has a wife and daughter, and officials expect them to join him in Ireland in due course.

As well as taking courses, the men will be assisted in opening bank accounts and dealing with State bureaucracy.

Three officials from the Department of Justice have been assigned to co-ordinate their resettlement, and while interpreters have also been made available to the men, officials say they have been communicating with staff through English.

A source in the Department of Justice said the men were in good health and slowly adapting to their new circumstances. "It's a major change of circumstances for these people. They have been incarcerated in Guantánamo Bay for seven years, and they're suddenly in an entirely new environment, in an alien country with different weather," the source said.

"They didn't have many clothes when they arrived, so arrangements were made to bring them to buy new shoes. One of the men went, but the other got nervous and decided against . . . We're taking small steps at a time.

"They're in a centre now, but even to leave the centre and go down to the local shop is a major adjustment because they haven't been outside for a long time."

Plans for the men's long-term resettlement have not yet been finalised, but it is expected that they will be helped to find social housing elsewhere in the country before Christmas.

"They don't pose any security threat, and they're as well adjusted as you can be after spending the period of time they did in Guantánamo Bay," the source said.

I suppose its the least we can do, given that we quite possibly connived in their extraordinary rendition to Cuba through Shannon.  Quite why they were flown into the military airbase at Baldonnel has not been explained. Perhaps the US Air Force feared saboteurs might attack their plane in Shannon.

Let us recall that these men have never been given a trial, never been convicted of anything,and have now been interned and quite possibly tortured for 7 years under the "jurisdiction" of the 'land of the free.' Many Nazi war criminals served less time. Let's hope they get used to the weather and settle in well here in Ireland.

Display:
US House blocks Guantanamo move - The Irish Times - Thu, Oct 01, 2009

In a blow to President Barack Obama, the US House of Representatives voted today to prohibit his administration from transferring terrorism suspects from the Guantanamo Bay military prison to face prosecution in the United States.

The measure, if it becomes law, would further complicate the administration's plan to empty the internationally condemned military prison by January 2010.

Guantanamo detainees currently can only come to the United States to face trial under restrictions already imposed by Congress. Lawmakers have also denied funds to shut down the facility.

The Obama administration hopes to bring some of the 223 detainees remaining in the facility to the United States to face charges in American courtrooms, while others would be transferred abroad. Republicans and many Democrats have worried that housing the suspects on US soil could create security risks.

Republican Representative Hal Rogers, the measure's sponsor, said the detainees do not deserve American legal protections and should stay to face trial at Guantanamo. "They are not criminal defendants. They are prisoners in a war," he said.

The measure also would prohibit the Pentagon from releasing photos showing the abuse of terrorism suspects, which have figured prominently in several scandals. Mr Obama and the Senate also support keeping the photos from the public.

Mr Rogers' measure passed by a vote of 258 to 163, drawing the support of many Democrats as well as Republicans.



notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Oct 1st, 2009 at 07:41:37 PM EST
First of all, the vote is meaningless from a Constitutional point of view, as the matter is outside the purview of Congress.  So if they want to grab from the Executive authority granted in the Constitution, well that would be interesting, to say the least.  

So on to the second paragraph . . . It is hard to understand why Obama is having trouble shutting down a prison he says he wants to close.  If he released the prisoners against whom there is no evidence, that would clear out about half of them right there.  

On to the third paragraph . . . The rest could always have their cases reviewed, brought to trial, released, or whatever as appropriate.  

The fourth paragraph is beyond absurd:  "create security risks"??  That nonsense so lame it is hard to imagine how it can pass, even in America.  

The fifth paragraph gets to the the dark and dirty:  The prisoners are precisely not prisoners of war because Congress unconstitutionally abrogated its duty to declare or not declare war, in this case giving up powers that it had no right to sign away.  That means the prisoners can not legally be detained at all, not for another minute, without violating law, Constitution, or treaty.  They cannot be detained as POWs because there is no war. (THANK YOU, Congress!)  This means they must be tried for crimes or released.  Anything else is lawless (and a violation of several international treaties).  

The whole charade is meant to hide the fact that these people are being detained and tortured by the US for no reason whatever, and our leaders like it that way.  

The Fates are kind.

by Gaianne on Fri Oct 2nd, 2009 at 09:23:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And even if some of the detainees are guilty of some crimes, the violation of their rights and due process has been so egregious as to render any prospect of a fair trial and conviction in possible.  It is the US was criminals who need to be brought to trial...

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Oct 3rd, 2009 at 03:49:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Clearly, you are only thinking of this from your pinko-centric viewpoint.
His lawyer, Michael Mone, who recently explained that he had taken on Jabbarov's case because "I felt I could no longer stand on the sidelines and permit this gross executive power grab, which is how I view [Bush's] actions...

You see, without our Great Leader Bush's actions, this kind hearted lawyer, this gentle goat farmer, and the great Irish people could not be doing their charity thing and easing the way into heaven. They should send Mr. Bush a thank you card.

Never underestimate their intelligence, always underestimate their knowledge.

Frank Delaney ~ Ireland

by siegestate (siegestate or beyondwarispeace.com) on Mon Oct 19th, 2009 at 07:42:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Republicans and many Democrats have worried that housing the suspects on US soil could create security risks.

Should read: ...could create security risks to their longevity as congressmen.

Wusses. Same bunch that authorized a war and then claimed they just didn't know all the facts.


I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears

by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Sun Oct 18th, 2009 at 10:05:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Irish know what it is to be immigrants, something far too many in the U.S. have forgotten.

I hope that, in addition to the new shoes and bank accounts, the state has arranged for them to have some kind of psychological, emotional, mental support system. They likely need it badly after seven years as guests of Uncle Sam and BushCheney War, Inc.

by Mnemosyne on Sun Oct 18th, 2009 at 09:12:33 PM EST
The Irish know what it is to be immigrants, something far too many in the U.S. have forgotten.

The US has over three times as many immigrants as any other country in the world. We haven't forgotten what its like to be an immigrant; we just have no idea what its like to be imprisoned and denied all access to legal recourse for over eight years of our life.

I can swear there ain't no heaven but I pray there ain't no hell. _ Blood Sweat & Tears

by Gringo (stargazing camel at aoldotcom) on Sun Oct 18th, 2009 at 10:17:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was thinking of the Irish-as-immigrants in terms of the number who were immigrants to the U.S., rather than those who stayed on the Emerald Isle.
by Mnemosyne on Sat Oct 24th, 2009 at 07:52:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
among the millions of residents of america's prisons  there are probably more than a few who know too well just how cruel and arbitrary americans can be.
by wu ming on Mon Nov 2nd, 2009 at 09:28:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I congratulate Ireland for this. The British govt, whose complicity is second only to that of the US, cannot even bring itself to sort out all of its own residents caught up in this barbarism.

However, given the reality of life post-schengen, I must note that they aren't being resettled and given the freedom of Ireland, they're being re-settled and given the freedom of europe. It's something to note among the articles about asylum and immigration.


keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Mon Nov 2nd, 2009 at 02:43:45 PM EST
Ireland has not signed up for Schengen because, to do so, would require the setting up of border controls at the NI border - something it would be politically impossible to propose - and a very retrograde step socially, communally, and economically.  However  Ireland would love the UK to sign up for Schengen as well as the Euro and the Charter of Fundamental rights so that North South differences and potential anomalies can continue to reduce.

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Nov 2nd, 2009 at 05:19:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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