January 27, 2016. Three Bagram detainees transferred by the U.S. government to Afghan custody in December 2014 have begun a hunger strike to protest their continued imprisonment and treatment at the Afghanistan National Detention Facility. For the first time since their detention began in 2009, Sa’id Jamaluddin and Abdul Fatah were allowed to speak with their lawyer, Tina M. Foster of the U.S.-based International Justice Network (IJN). Sa’id and Abdul, two brothers originally from Tajikistan, reported that they, along with another detainee, IJN client Musa Akhmadjanov, began a hunger strike on January 18 to protest their unlawful detention by Afghan and U.S. authorities. None of the men has ever been tried or convicted of any charges related to terrorism or any hostile activities against U.S. or Afghan forces.
Sa’id Jamaluddin was seventeen years old when he was arrested by U.S. forces in Northern Afghanistan in 2008. He and his older brother, Abdul Fatah, were staying at a friend’s house when it was targeted by a U.S. military raid. Though no weapons or incriminating evidence were found at the scene, U.S. authorities arrested the brothers and sent them to the U.S. military prison at Bagram Air Base. After months of interrogation, the U.S. government did not find any evidence of links to the Taliban or terrorism. Nor did it find any crime with which to charge Sa’id or Abdul.
In February 2010, the U.S. military determined that the brothers posed no risk to the United States and approved their transfer out of Bagram. The brothers could not go home to Tajikistan, where they faced risk of torture and death. But the U.S. government failed to find a safe third country for the brothers’ resettlement, and Sa’id and Abdul languished at Bagram Prison for the next five years. In December 2014, the U.S. Department of Defense closed Bagram Prison and transferred the brothers to Afghan custody. Two months later, an Afghan court ruled that they were entitled to release; this decision was affirmed by Afghanistan’s highest court. But nearly a year later, the brothers remain in custody.
Sa’id and Abdul have vowed not to eat until they are released. “The Afghan courts have said we are entitled to be released,” said Sa’id. “But we are being kept in a maximum security prison – we should not be here.”
Musa Akhmadjanov, the third Bagram detainee protesting his unlawful detention, cannot be repatriated to his country of origin – Uzbekistan – due to the risk of torture. Afghan courts found that Musa was not guilty of any crime under Afghan law, and ruled in June 2015 that he was entitled to release.
“The U.S. government has responsibility for us,” Sa’id remarked. “Do they want to find some solution, or leave us behind to die here?”
Yale Law School’s Allard K. Lowenstein International Human Rights Clinic is assisting the International Justice Network in pursuit of relief for the three men.
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Dear fellow human rights defender,
You have seen the images of killings and violence.
You have heard the hateful rhetoric and threats.
You have read the discriminatory proposed laws and policies.
You can take action now to end all of it!
Muslims in the United States and around the world are under attack, and they are looking to the International Justice Network for legal assistance and support now, more than ever. For the past decade, our organization has been on the front lines of the fight against Islamophobia and all other forms of racial, religious, and ethnic profiling in the US and across the globe. We’ve had many successes along the way, but there is so much more to do before we can live in a world where everyone’s fundamental human rights are protected.
Together, we will make the difference.
By making a tax-deductible donation to the International Justice Network today, you will make it possible for us to continue and expand our work at this crucial time. You can make a secure online donation today by clicking here, or by sending a check to International Justice Network at 421 8th Avenue #211, New York, NY 10116-0211.
Thank you for your commitment to universal human rights. We wish you and your loved ones safety and peace this holiday season.
Tina Foster, Executive Director, International Justice Network
Dear human rights defender,
Thanks to your support, the International Justice Network celebrated many victories in 2015. Some of the highlights are below. And...if you haven't already, there is still time to make a tax-deductible contribution to IJN for 2015. You can make a secure online donation today by clicking here, or by sending a check to International Justice Network at 421 8th Avenue #211, New York, NY 10116-0211.
With your help this year, we successfully advocated for the release of two wrongfully detained men who were secretly captured and tortured for years at CIA black sites before being imprisoned without charge or trial at the U.S.-run detention center in Bagram, Afghanistan. The U.S. Supreme Court vacated the lower court judgments against two Bagram detainees who sought to challenge their unlawful imprisonment, marking the end of a nearly decade-long battle we waged in U.S. courts seeking justice for Bagram detainees. We joined 100 other human rights groups from around the world in demanding accountability for CIA torture.
IJN Joins Human Rights Defenders in Demanding Justice for Extrajudicial Killings of Lumad Leaders in the Philippines
September 8, 2015, New York, NY. Today, the International Justice Network (IJN) issued an open letter to H.E. Benigno Simeon Aquino III, President of the Philippines, calling for a full investigation into the August 31, 2015 extrajudicial killings of Emerito Samarca, Executive Director of Alternative Learning Center for Agricultural and Livelihood Development (ALCADEV), Dionel Campos, chairperson of Malahutayong Pakigbisog Alang sa Sumusunod (MAPASU), and Campos’ cousin, Bello Sinzo.
These three men, leaders in the indigenous Lumad community in the Philippines, were brutally killed by the paramilitary group of Marcos Bocales. IJN's open letter calls on President Aquino III to order an immediate pull-out of the 36th Infantry Battalion in Lumad communities in Lianga, Surigao del Sur and the dismantling of paramilitary groups in this dirty war against the Filipino people. IJN further urges the Aquino administration to form an independent fact-finding and investigation team to look into these extrajudicial killings and arrest and prosecute the perpetrators.