7th APRIL 2015 - Vol.XXXVIII No.018
Local News

Bahrain Bay detainee 'poses no danger'

MILITARY evidence suggests that a Bahraini being held at Guantanamo Bay poses no threat to anyone, his lawyers claimed yesterday.

Representatives of Salah Abdul Rasool Al Blooshi say documents to be presented to officials conducting an annual review of detainees show he cannot be considered an "enemy combatant".

The 24-year-old, who is one of three Bahraini men still being held at the prison camp, is approaching his fifth year without trial.

"During our last trip to Guantanamo we talked with Salah Al Bloushi regarding the Administrative Review Boards," said legal team head Joshua Colangelo-Bryan.

"These are proceedings that are supposed to determine if someone is still a threat.

"Of course, considering that Salah has never been accused of any involvement in any violence or terrorist activity, the question of whether he is 'still' a threat is preposterous.

"It is obvious that he never has been a threat, even in the opinion of the US military.

"The military recently provided documents to Salah showing what it referred to as "facts favouring detention" that would be considered by his next Administrative Review Board.

"Specifically, the military asserts that Salah went to Afghanistan long before September 11, 2001, when he heard about Buddhist statues being destroyed at Bamyan.

"According to the military, Salah went there to make sure that Afghans were Salafi Muslims.

"The military also says that Salah had 300 Bahraini dinars with him and that he stayed with a friend for two weeks in Kandahar.

"According to the military, this friend suggested that Salah give his passport to a man who is said to be associated in some way with Al Qaeda.

"Finally, the military said that Salah became sick for a month in Jalabad and then travelled to Afghan/Pakistani border."

Mr Colangelo-Bryan said his client disputed most of the accusations, but asked how they would make him an enemy combatant, even if they were true.

"Even using the government's ridiculously broad enemy combatant definition, where a little old lady in Switzerland who gives money to an Afghan charity is an enemy combatant, none of these accusations supports a finding that Salah is an enemy combatant or has ever been a threat to anyone," he said.

"As we have said for a long time, Salah should have been the first person to come home from Guantanamo. It is a tragedy that he remains there."

Mr Al Bloushi was reportedly arrested by Pakistani authorities after crossing over from Afghanistan in December 2001 and handed over to the US military.

The two other Bahrainis being held in Guantanamo Bay are Isa Al Murbati, 42, and Juma Al Dossary, 32, who has attempted suicide 13 times since his incarceration.

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