Abdul Rahim Muslimdost
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Abdul Rahim Muslimdost (Urdu: عبد الرحیم مسلم دوست) is a Afghan journalist and jeweller who was held in extrajudicial detention in the United States Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba. His Guantanamo Internment Serial Number was 561.
Muslimdost and his brother were captured on November 17, 2001, and later released on 17 April 2005 with no charges held against him. He has been noted for his poetry still detained by the American government and the lengths he went through to record it, ranging from scratching with a spoon onto polystyrene teacups to using rubbery pens, and has received much esteem in this regard. His account on his stay at Guantanamo, The Broken Chains, is currently being translated into English.
According to the Associated Press the allegations against Muslimdost, in his Combatant Status Review Tribunal, he was a member of an Islamic militant group, and served as a contact between that group and Al Qaeda.
Muslimdost acknowledged being a member of the militant group, but said he joined long ago, during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
Muslimdost's brother was also a journalist; was also a held in extrajudicial detention in Guantanamo; was also released by the Americans following his Tribunal. Their presence in Guantanamo was discussed in the press prior the Department of Defense released the official list of detainee identities.
|“||Just as the heart beats in the darkness of the body, so I, despite this cage, continue to beat with life. Those who have no courage or honour consider themselves free, but they are slaves. I am flying on the wings of thought, and so, even in this cage, I know a greater freedom.||”|
|— Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost|
Determined not to have been an Enemy Combatant
Abdul Rahim Muslimdost was one of the 38 captives the Bush Presidency determined had not been enemy combatants after all. The Department of Defense refers to these men as No Longer Enemy Combatants.
Abdul Rahim Muslimdost was freed on April 20, 2005 with sixteen other Afghans whose Tribunals had determined they were not enemy combatants. The Associated Press reported that their release ceremony was addressed by Afghan Chief Justice Fazl Hadi Shinwari. Carlotta Gall of the New York Times reported that the Chief Justice encouraged the men to regard their detention as something sent from God. The reports stated that the Chief Justice warned the cleared men that a candid description of their detention could damage the chances of other Afghan captives to be released.
- "Don't tell these people the stories of your time in prison because the government is trying to secure the release of others, and it may harm the release of your friends."
Abdul Rahim Muslimdost was one of the three captives who chose to address the Press. Carlotta Gall described him as openly disagreeing with the Chief Justice as to whether any Afghans should have been sent to Guantanamo:
- "If we have the government, our government should bring the criminals here. They should be imprisoned here and should be punished here. Why were the Afghans given to the Americans?"
- "We spent more than 3½ years there. If there is a government and a Supreme Court in Afghanistan, why did nobody ask about our situation? If we were guilty we ought to have been brought to stand trial here. Why should America be allowed to ask us questions and interrogate us?"
- "There are three kinds of prisoners in Guantanamo. There are those that have committed crimes and should be there, then there are people who were falsely denounced, and third there are those who are there because of the mistakes of the Americans."
September 2006 arrest
On September 30, 2006 the Chinese news agency Xinhua reported that Muslimdost had been arrested by Pakistani officials. The article quotes Muslimdost's brother, who linked the arrest to criticisms of the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate's role in the capture of Guantanamo detainees. Muslimdost's brother said he was arrested while leaving his Mosque.
- Sketches of Guantanamo Detainees-Part I, WTOP, March 15, 2006
- OARDEC (May 15, 2006). "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 30 September 2007. http://www.dod.mil/news/May2006/d20060515%20List.pdf. Retrieved 2007-09-29.
- Prisoner profile from cageprisoners.com
- Return my work, says Guantánamo poet, Guardian Unlimited, April 3, 2006
- "Voices of Guantanamo gathered in poetry book". CBC News. June 21, 2007. http://www.cbc.ca/arts/books/story/2007/06/21/poems-guantanamo.html.
- "Detainees Found to No Longer Meet the Definition of "Enemy Combatant" during Combatant Status Review Tribunals Held at Guantanamo" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. November 19, 2007. http://media.miamiherald.com/smedia/2008/03/27/20/NLEC_DetaineeList.source.prod_affiliate.56.pdf. Retrieved 2008-04-15.
- "17 Afghans, Turk home from Guantanamo Bay". China Daily. 2005-04-20. http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2005-04/20/content_435839.htm. Retrieved 2008-04-18. "Pentagon spokesman Maj. Michael Shavers said the 17 Afghans and the Turkish man had been cleared of accusations they were enemy combatants during the Combatant Status Review Tribunal process that recently ended. Five others cleared in late March already had been sent home and another 15 await transfers home."
- Carlotta Gall (2005-04-20). "17 Afghans Freed From Guantánamo Prison". New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/20/international/asia/20afghan.html?_r=1&oref=slogin. Retrieved 2008-04-18. "In a brief ceremony, Chief Justice Fazil Hadi Shinwari told the 17 men that they were free to return home and he tried to reconcile them to the idea their imprisonment was something sent from God. Some prisoners in Guantánamo were guilty and deserved to be imprisoned, he said, but others were innocent victims of false accusations or military mistakes, or were duped into supporting terrorism."
- Pakistan arrests freed Guantanamo Afghan scholar, Xinhua, September 30, 2006
- Shamin Shahid (2014-09-03). "Spillover effect: ISIS making inroads into Pakistan, Afghanistan". Peshawar: The Express Tribune. Archived from the original on 2014-09-05. https://web.archive.org/web/20140905022326/http://tribune.com.pk/story/757186/spillover-effect-isis-making-inroads-into-pakistan-afghanistan/. Retrieved 2014-09-04. "A number of hardline groups operating in Pakistan and Afghanistan have already announced support for the group headed by Afghan Taliban. Among them, Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost and Maulvi Abdul Qahar, stalwarts of Saudi Arabia-backed Salafi Taliban groups operating in Nuristan and Kunar provinces of Afghanistan, have already announced support for the self-styled caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi."
- AWR Hawkins (2014-09-04). "ISIS Supporeters Using Chalk Drawings, Bumper Stickers To Recruit New Fighters in the Pakistan Border Area". Brietbart. Archived from the original on 2014-09-04. https://web.archive.org/web/20140905021234/http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2014/09/04/ISIS-Supporeters-Using-Chalk-Drawings-Bumper-Stickers-To-Recruit-New-Fighters. "According to the Express Tribune, "a number of hardline groups operating in Pakistan and Afghanistan have already announced support for [IS]." And "stalwarts of Saudi Arabia-backed Salafi Taliban" like Abdul Rahim Muslim Dost and Maulvi Abdul Qatar have already come out in support of "the self-styled caliph Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.""
- VIDEO: ANDREW MOTION READS POEMS FROM GUANTÁNAMO
- In a Jail in Cuba Beat the Heart of a Poet: Afghan, Now Freed by U.S., Scribbled on Paper Cups but Never Stopped Writing, Washington Post, April 24, 2005
- Ex-inmates share Guantanamo ordeal, BBC, May 2, 2005
- Dismay at US Koran 'desecration', BBC, May 8, 2005
- Writing poetry was the balm that kept Guantanamo prisoners from going mad: Former inmates say they wrote thousands of lines, San Francisco Chronicle, July 17, 2005