Yesterday, 7 July 2016, Adbul Rabbani requested a Guantanamo Bay “Periodic Review Board” to set him free, after almost a dozen years at the remote island prison.
Unfortunately, I was not permitted to attend live video of the hearing, that was broadcast into a secure building near the Pentagon, with such “public” hearings being open to select human rights organization representative, legal experts, and media. My application to attend these hearings is still pending. So, I cannot describe to you what Rabbani looks like, his demeanor, the manner in which he interacted with his Government-appointed Personal Representative or his Private Counsel (if in fact his private counsel was present), what the room looks like or how it is set up, whether Rabbani was shackled to the floor, or any other aspects or dynamics of the public portion of the hearing.
Instead, I post below 3 documents that the Pentagon posted on its website (www.prs.mil) after yesterday’s hearings. These documents shed some light into who the government believes Rabbani is and what the government believes Rabbani did, what his Personal Representative said during the hearing (I attach a written statement), and what his private counsel submitted (a written statement — again, I do not know whether the private counsel was present and read the statement, or whether it was submitted separately).
Regarding documents, the Pentagon posted that at the request of Rabbani, his own written personal statement and the transcripts of the public portion of the hearing were not posted. Had I been permitted to be present at the hearing, I would have heard what Rabbani had to say in his personal statement, and I would have heard the interaction between and among participants (questions, answers, discussion). Now there is no way to know what Rabbani wrote or said in his plea that he is not a threat to the national security of the U.S. Based on the statement of the private counsel, it is possible that he requested to be sent to Saudi Arabia (Medina) where he has family, rather than Pakistan, where he first got involved in matters that ended up getting him to Guantanamo Bay. Also, we do not know whether in his written statement or in otherwise during the hearing the topic of came up of his brother, who is also incarcerated at Guantanamo Bay.
Here is the Government’s Summary of Unclassified Information on Rabbani:
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Here is the Opening Statement of Rabbani’s Government-Appointed Personal Representative:
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Here is the Opening Statement of Rabbani’s Private Counsel:
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Here is a screenshot indicating that “At the request of the detainee, the detainee’s written submission is not posted”.
Here is a screenshot indicating that “At the request of the detainee, the transcript of the detainee session is not posted“.
What about other detainee written statements & public PRB hearing transcripts?
Other detainee written statements appear on http://www.prs.mil, and other PRB public session transcripts also appear. Public documents from other PRBs will be posted on this site after I observe a PRB in which those documents will be released. That way, readers can get a fuller picture of the PRB and the PRB process — from documents to personal observations of the proceedings, with the personalities and process being more accurately and comprehensively described.