Free Fawzi to Kuwait Now!
Fawzi al-Odah, a Kuwaiti citizen, has been a detainee in Guantanamo Bay since May, 2002. He has never been charged nor had a trial for any crime. Mr. al-Odah was attempting to return to Kuwait from Afghanistan, where he had been working, when he was captured by Pakistani bounty hunters and subsequently sold to U.S. forces. Despite suffering through endless hours of torture, including but not limited to beatings, sleep deprivation, threats and forced stress positions, the U.S. government has failed to gather any of the coveted information that this treatment was ostensibly designed to garner. Furthermore, the U.S. government has not produced any evidence against Fawzi al-Odah aside from hearsay accusations, evidence which, under other circumstances, would not be allowed in court. His detention without trial for 9 years has profoundly undermined the value of due process, a fundamental tenet of the U.S. justice system.
Mr. al-Odah continues to strenuously deny any involvement with the Taliban or al Qaida either prior to or following September 11, 2001. Furthermore, he adamantly maintains that he was not a soldier and has never received military training either formally or through the ad hoc training camps that were established in Afghanistan by the Taliban and al Qaida. In an effort to protest the injustice of his situation with the only means available to him, Mr. al-Odah engaged in a self-imposed hunger strike which resulted in further inhumane treatment through forced feedings while shackled and harshly handled by guards and nurses.
With this in mind, we urgently call upon the United States government to immediately release Fawzi al-Odah to the care of the Kuwaiti government. Kuwait has made numerous requests for the repatriation of Mr. al-Odah, all of which have been refused by the United States government on the basis of concerns with Kuwait's ability to monitor and rehabilitate previously returned citizens. In response, Kuwait has invested enormous resources into vastly improving the monitoring of returned citizens as well as building a multi-million dollar rehabilitation centre. In consideration of these efforts on the part of the Kuwaiti government, combined with the length of Mr. al-Odah's detention without trial, the questionable nature of the evidence against him and his continued and passionate insistence on his innocence, it is unquestionably incumbent upon the United States Department of Justice, the State Department and the Office of the President to negotiate and arrange with the Kuwaiti government for the return of Fawzi al-Odah to Kuwait immediately.