January 14, 2016, New York – Today, the Department of Defense announced the transfer of Guantánamo prisoner and Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) client Fahd Ghazy to Oman. Mr. Ghazy was only 17 when he was brought to Guantánamo in February 2002. He was never charged with a crime and had been cleared for release since 2007.
“Almost 14 years ago to the day, Fahd arrived at Guantánamo as a boy, shackled and hooded. Today – finally – he is free. I commend Oman for the profound humanitarian gesture of welcoming Fahd and offering him a new home,” said Mr. Ghazy’s attorney, Omar Farah of the Center for Constitutional Rights.
“There was never much doubt that Fahd’s imprisonment was unnecessary – he was cleared for release nearly a decade ago – yet he grew up at Guantánamo waiting for successive presidents to correct a glaring injustice. While Fahd and his family look to the future, I cannot help but reflect on how cruel his detention was and marvel at how Fahd preserved his humanity throughout.”
Mr. Ghazy was one of the last men to have been detained at Guantánamo as a juvenile. He filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in 2006 and withdrew it in 2009, shortly before President Obama cleared him for the second time. The story of Mr. Ghazy’s anguish and resilience is told through moving interviews with his family in the short film Waiting for Fahd: One Family’s Hope for Life Beyond Guantánamo. Mr. Ghazy also shared a personal message to the film’s audience.
On January 11, 2016, Guantánamo entered its 15th year in operation. CCR attorneys say it is imperative that the president step up the pace of transfers and review boards and ensure an end to bureaucratic inaction within the Pentagon. They emphasize that the prison at Guantánamo must be emptied and closed, and note that several CCR clients – among them Tariq Ba Odah, Ghaleb Nasser Al-Bihani, Muhammadi Davliatov, Mohammed Al-Hamiri, and Mohammed Kamin – remain imprisoned without charge.
As of January 31, 2016, Guantánamo will have been open longer under President Obama than it was under President Bush.
Learn more about CCR’s work on behalf of Mr. Ghazy here.
The Center for Constitutional Rights has led the legal battle over Guantánamo for 14 years – representing clients in two Supreme Court cases and organizing and coordinating hundreds of pro bono lawyers across the country, ensuring that all the men detained at Guantánamo have had the option of legal representation. CCR is responsible for many Guantánamo cases in many venues, representing men in their habeas cases in federal court and before the military commissions and Periodic Review Boards, the families of men who died at Guantánamo, and men who have been released and are seeking accountability in international courts.
The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.