A Family Broken Up: Freed After 8 Years at Guantánamo, a Father & Son Are Still Kept Apart

Democracy Now!
March 2015

We look at the extraordinary story from Guantánamo of a father and son who were held for many years and what became of them after their release. Abdul Nasser Khantumani and his son Muhammed were imprisoned in Guantánamo in 2002. Muhammed was still a teenager when he was taken into U.S. custody in 2001. He was released in 2009 and resettled in Portugal. His father was resettled in Cape Verde almost exactly a year later. They have not been able to meet each other since. A new article in Harper’s Magazine details their ordeal, including how their relationship was used against them in Guantánamo: "Interrogators learned early on that proximity to Abdul Nasser was a 'comfort item' they could manipulate to try to make Muhammed talk. After Muhammed became uncooperative, they relocated him as a form of punishment. It would be years before they would hear each other’s voices again." We are joined by Pardiss Kebriaei, a senior staff attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights who has represented Abdul Nasser Khantumani and his son Muhammed since 2008. Her article for Harper’s is "Life After Guantánamo: A Father and Son’s Story."

Last modified 

June 1, 2015