Janat Gul is a citizen of Afghanistan who was held in extrajudicial detention in the United States Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba. His Guantanamo detainee ID number is 953. American counter-terror analysts estimate he was born in 1973, in Sarpolad, Afghanistan.
In December 2014 the United States Senate's Intelligence Committee published a 600 page unclassified summary of its 6,000 page report on the CIA's use of torture. That report identified Janat Gul as one of the individuals tortured by the CIA, in its network of black sites. PBS Frontline reported that he was tortured so badly the CIA's case notes recorded that he had pled with his interrogators to just kill him.
He was transferred from CIA custody to military on March 23, 2003. A five page Joint Task Force Guantanamo detainee assessment, drafted on August 20, 2004, recommended his continued detention. However the Combatant Status Review Tribunal conducted by OARDEC determined that his classification as an "enemy combatant" had been improper, all along, and he was released on April 18, 2005.
Press accounts of his term at Ariana Airlines
Mike Martin, author of An Intimate War: An Oral History of the Helmand Conflict, 1978-2012, profiled Janat Gul.
Combatant Status Review Tribunal
Initially the Bush administration asserted that they could withhold all the protections of the Geneva Conventions to captives from the war on terror. This policy was challenged before the Judicial branch. Critics argued that the USA could not evade its obligation to conduct a competent tribunals to determine whether captives are, or are not, entitled to the protections of prisoner of war status.
Subsequently the Department of Defense instituted the Combatant Status Review Tribunals. The Tribunals, however, were not authorized to determine whether the captives were lawful combatants -- rather they were merely empowered to make a recommendation as to whether the captive had previously been correctly determined to match the Bush administration's definition of an enemy combatant.
Hammdidullah chose to participate in his Combatant Status Review Tribunal.
The allegations that Hammdidullah faced during his Tribunal were:
- a. -- The general summary of the allegations that establish an association with terrorism were missing from the transcript. --
- The detainee admitted he is a member of the Taliban.
- The detainee is a former president of Ariana Airline.
- The Taliban controlled Ariana Airline.
- The Taliban used Ariana Airline to transport their members.
- Ariana Airlines provided free flights to Konduz, Afghanistan for individuals joining the fight against the Northern Alliance.
- Taliban forces utilized Ariana Airline form Kandahar to Kabul.
- An active al Qaida member and licensed pilot brought in other al Qaida members to work for Ariana Airline.
- An individual with plans to engage in hostilities against the United States had strong ties to Ariana Airlines.
- The detainee was arrested in January 2003 in Lashkargar, Afghanistan.
Hammdidullah requested statements from two witnesses, his father Haji Sher Mohammed, and his brother, Haji Agha Gul The Tribunal's President ruled that his witnesses were relevant, and the State Department was requested to contact the Afghan government to contact Hammdidullah's witnesses. After a month the Tribunal hadn't heard back, so Hammdidullah's witnesses were ruled "not reasonably available".
Gul denied that he had ever been or admitted to being a member of the Taliban. Gul said he had been twice imprisoned by the Taliban.
Gul acknowledged working for Ariana Airlines.
- He said that Ariana Airlines did not have any direct ties to the government.
- He said that when the Taliban seized him it was in order to forcibly conscript him and send him to the front lines. By accepting the position at Ariana he was able to avoid being press-ganged to the front lines.
Gul denied that the Taliban controlled Ariana Airlines. He said it was a for profit business.
Gul denied that the Taliban used Ariana to transport their members. He acknowledged that Taliban members could have bought tickets, like anyone else, but they never chartered any of the planes for their purposes.
Gul denied that Ariana Airlines provided free flights for Taliban recruits. The Taliban had its own fleet of planes for transporting troops.
Gul said that he had never heard the allegation that an Ariana airlines pilot was an al Qaeda member. Gul said he didn't know any al Qaeda members, and that all the Ariana employees were civilians.
Gul acknowledged that he was captured in January 2003, in his home. He said he had welcomed the arrival of the Americans, and their help in unseating the Taliban and helping Hamid Karzai's government.
Determined not to have been an Enemy Combatant
The Washington Post reports that detainee 953, who they call Janat Gul was one of 38 detainees who was determined not to have been an enemy combatant during his Combatant Status Review Tribunal, and was, eventually, released.
Guantanamo Medical records
On 16 March 2007 the Department of Defense published medical records for the captives. According to those records Hammdidullah was 67.5 inches tall, and he was weighed just three times: on March 23, 2003, when he weighed 126 pounds, and in January and March 2003, when he weighed 113 pounds. His records indicate he declined to be weighed in February 2003.
- OARDEC. "List of Individuals Detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba from January 2002 through May 15, 2006" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. http://www.dod.mil/news/May2006/d20060515%20List.pdf. Retrieved 2006-05-15. 16x16px Works related to List of Individuals Detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba from January 2002 through May 15, 2006 at Wikisource
- Ly Chheng, Sarah Childress and Priyanka Boghani (2015-05-19). "What the CIA Did to Its Detainees". WGBH. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/government-elections-politics/secrets-politics-and-torture/how-the-cia-tortured-its-detainees/. Retrieved 2015-07-01. "CIA interrogators didn’t always stick to the approved techniques, though — and in December 2014 a Senate investigation concluded that the agency’s interrogations were ineffective, detrimental to national security, and did not help to find Osama bin Laden. The CIA has defended the program."
- "Measurements of Heights and Weights of Individuals Detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (ordered and consolidated version)". Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas, from DoD data. Archived from the original on 2008-11-09. http://web.archive.org/web/20081109191207/http://humanrights.ucdavis.edu/resources/library/documents-and-reports/gtmo_heightsweights.pdf.
- Margot Williams (2008-11-03). "Guantanamo Docket: Hammdidullah". New York Times. http://projects.nytimes.com/guantanamo/detainees/953-hammdidullah/documents/5. Retrieved 2015-07-01.
- OARDEC (2006-04-20). "List of detainees who went through complete CSRT process (All detainees who went through Round 1 of ARB process are also found on this list)" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. Archived from the original on 2006-08-05. http://www.dod.mil/news/May2006/d20060515%20List.pdf. Retrieved 2006-04-20.
- "Summarized Sworn Detainee Statement". OARDEC. p. 31-48. Archived from the original on 2006-03-14. https://web.archive.org/web/20060314115521/http://www.defenselink.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt/Set_29_2001-2047.pdf#page=31. Retrieved 2015-07-01.
- "Airline head says hijacking may be mass asylum bid: Negotiations resume after escape of flight crew". London, UK: CNN. 2000-02-09. Archived from the original on 2000-08-19. https://web.archive.org/web/20000819080531/http://www.cnn.com/2000/ASIANOW/central/02/09/afghan.plane.03/. Retrieved 2015-07-01. "The head of Afghanistan's Ariana Airlines, Mullah Hamidullah, told the Afghan Islamic Press on Wednesday that up to 40 people on board a hijacked Ariana plane could be involved in an asylum bid."
- Mike Martin (2014). An Intimate War: An Oral History of the Helmand Conflict, 1978-2012. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780190237912. https://books.google.ca/books?id=OENeBAAAQBAJ&pg=PA301&lpg=PA301&dq=%22Janat+Gul%22+OR+hammdidullah+guantanamo&source=bl&ots=VM3nkWJkBj&sig=aJn-rtmvq3zVAirBLWS_enAjsuU&hl=en&sa=X&ei=XBCVVczXMIvysAXowqmoAw&ved=0CEcQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=%22Janat%20Gul%22%20OR%20hammdidullah%20guantanamo&f=false. Retrieved 2015-07-02.
- Guantánamo Prisoners Getting Their Day, but Hardly in Court, New York Times, November 11, 2004 - mirror
- Inside the Guantánamo Bay hearings: Barbarian "Justice" dispensed by KGB-style "military tribunals", Financial Times, December 11, 2004
- "Annual Administrative Review Boards for Enemy Combatants Held at Guantanamo Attributable to Senior Defense Officials". United States Department of Defense. March 6, 2007. http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/transcript.aspx?transcriptid=3902. Retrieved 2007-09-22.
- Guantanamo Bay Detainees Classifed as "No Longer Enemy Combatants", Washington Post
- JTF-GTMO (2006-03-16). "Heights, weights, and in-processing dates". Department of Defense. Archived from the original on 2008-12-25. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fhumanrights.ucdavis.edu%2Freports%2Fheights-weights-and-in-processing-dates&date=2008-12-25. Retrieved 2008-12-25.