White House faces calls to stop ex-Guantánamo detainee's forced return to Russia

October 8, 2023
The Intercept

...Advocacy groups like the Center for Constitutional RightsCAGE, and the OHCHR have long campaigned to free Mingazov from detention and prevent his repatriation to Russia. Since 2021, protesters have taken to the street outside the UAE Embassy in Washington to demand his release, most recently last month. There’s even been a petition by members of Parliament in the United Kingdom to bring Mingazov to London to reunite with his ex-wife and Yusuf, both of whom were granted asylum there in 2014.

While the UAE has proved to be a catastrophic resettlement option for Guantánamo prisoners, Russia would be even worse, Mingazov’s family says. Seven former Guantánamo detainees repatriated to Russia in 2004 were imprisoned again, tortured, and released, only to face harassment, abuse, persecution, and even death at the hands of Russian authorities, according to the Center for Constitutional Rights. The U.N. experts noted that Mingazov himself has always feared being returned to Russia, writing that “Ravil Mingazov consistently and vociferously demonstrated and raised his fear of irreparable harm if repatriated to the Russian Federation.”

While Mingazov languished in Guantánamo Bay, legal advocates warned against his repatriation to Russia. The Center for Constitutional Rights wrote in 2009 that he “cannot safely return to his home country because of the risk of torture or persecution. Russia is notorious for its persecution of Muslims and for torture and abuse in its prisons.” ...

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October 8, 2023