Gholam Ruhani

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Gholam Ruhani
Born 1975 (age 43–44)
Ghazni, Afghanistan

Gholam Ruhani is a citizen of Afghanistan, who was held in extrajudicial detention in the United States Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba.[1] His Guantanamo Internment Serial Number was 3.

A widely distributed Associated Press story said that Ruhani was a clerk for the Taliban intelligence service.[2][dead link] AP quoted from Ruhani's testimony before his Combatant Status Review Tribunal.

"The Taliban law was that young people had to join the Taliban, I had to join, but protested several times that I had an old father and I wanted to go back to my family. ... If I had not cooperated with the Taliban Intelligence service member, I would have been sent to the front lines. I was afraid I would be killed."

Held aboard the USS Bataan

Former Taliban Ambassador to Pakistan Abdul Salam Zaeef described being flown to the United States Navy's amphibious warfare vessel, the USS Bataan, for special interrogation.[3] Zaeef wrote that the cells were located six decks down, were only 1 meter by 2 meters. He wrote that the captives weren't allowed to speak with one another, but that he "eventually saw that Mullahs Fazal, Noori, Burhan, Wasseeq Sahib and Rohani were all among the other prisoners." Historian Andy Worthington, author of the The Guantanamo Files, identified Ruhani as one of the men Zaeef recognized. He identified Mullah Wasseeq as Abdul-Haq Wasiq, Mullah Noori as Norullah Noori and Mullah Fazal as Mohammed Fazil.

Combatant Status Review

File:Guantanamo captives in January 2002.jpg
Ghulam Ruhani was one of the first 20 captives to be transferred to Guantanamo.[4][dead link] He is one of the twenty men in this photo taken 11 January 2002, the day the camp opened.

Ruhani was among the 60% of prisoners who participated in the tribunal hearings.[5] A Summary of Evidence memo was prepared for the tribunal of each detainee. The memo for his hearing lists the following allegations:[6]

a. Detainee is a member of the Taliban.
  1. Detainee admitted being a member of the Taliban. A supervisor of Taliban Civilian Intelligence recruited the detainee into the Taliban.
  2. Detaiene served as the driver for a Taliban Intelligence Service member and performed clerical work for the Intelligence Service in Kabul, AF, from 1999 or 2000 until his capture by U.S. forces in December 2001. The detainee was required to carry a pistol in this job.
  3. Detainee was captured with a senior Taliban intelligence member, Abdul Haq Wasiq, by U.S. forces on 9 Dec 2001. Detainee was in possession of 7.62MM rounds when captured.

Ruhani's Personal Representative read a statement prepared by Ruhani.[7] Summarized transcripts (.pdf)], from Gholam Ruhani's Combatant Status Review Tribunal - pages 7–12</ref>

Allegations

Unlike most of the other transcripts from captive's Combatant Status Review Tribunal Ruhani's transcript did not record the allegations against him.


First annual Administrative Review Board

A Summary of Evidence memo was prepared for Gholam Ruhani's first annual Administrative Review Board, on 2 May 2005.[8] The memo listed factors for and against his continued detention.

The following primary factors favor continued detention

a. Commitment
  1. Detainee admitted being a member of the Taliban. A supervisor of Taliban Civilian Intelligence recruited the detainee into the Taliban.
  2. Detainee served as the driver for a Taliban Intelligence Service member and performed clerical work for the Intelligence Service in Kabul, AF, from 1999 or 2000 until his capture by U.S. forces in December 2001. The detainee was required to carry a pistol in this job.
  3. Detainee was captured with a senior Taliban intelligence member, Abdul Haq Wasiq, by U.S. forces on 9 December 2001. The detainee was in possession of 7.62MM rounds when captured.
  4. During confinement the detainee has made death threates to guards.
b. Connections / Associations
  1. For years the detainee worked for the Taliban in the Operations Department of the Ministry of Intelligence in Kabul. The detainee supervised several associates.
  2. The detainee and his 13-14 associated were members of a quasi-police organization affiliated with Taliban Internal Affairs. The detainee and others in the unit were armed.
  3. The detainee's sister is married to a Taliban Intelligence Officer.
  4. The Taliban Chief of Intelligence led a group of 600 to 700 armed Taliban fighters in an Afghan province.
  5. The detainee couriered a letter between the Taliban Chief of Intelligence and a Taliban military commander.
  6. The Taliban military commander is associated with Hizb-I Islami Gulbuddin (HIG). The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Terrorist Organization Reference Guide, states that HIG has long established ties with Usama Bin Laden and has staged attacks in attempts to force United States troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.
c. Intent
After the fall of Kabul the detainee and his associated fled the city in a pick-up truck armed with two RPG-7's, twenty AK-47's and two PK machine guns.

The following primary factors favor release or transfer

a. The detainee claims his involvement with the Taliban should not be viewed as synonymous to the Taliban's ideology. The detainee claims he joined the Taliban because it was a matter of political and survival necessity.
b. The detainee denied having knowledge of the attacks in the United States prior to their execution on September 11 and also denied knowledge of any rumors or plans of future attacks on the United States or its interests.

Transcript

Ruhani chose to participate in his Administrative Review Board hearing.[9]

Second annual Administrative Review Board

A Summary of Evidence memo was prepared for Gholam Ruhani's second annual Administrative Review Board, on 22 March 2006.[10] The memo listed factors for and against his continued detention.

The following primary factors favor continued detention

a. Commitment
When the Taliban captured Kabul, Afghanistan, they conscripted many people. The detainee did not want to go to war so he took a job with the ministry of intelligence in Kabul.
b. Connections/Associations
  1. A senior member of civilian intelligence offered the detainee a job because he needed the assistance.
  2. A source identified a director of the Taliban Intelligence Service and the detainee as his deputy. They were responsible for counter-terrorism operations and terrorism believed to be connected to organized crime.
  3. The detainee stated he was the officer in charge of the operations department in the ministry of intelligence. The detainee noted that the operations department had 15 associates.
  4. The detainee's sister is married to a Taliban Intelligence Officer.
  5. The detainee stated that he is very close with a senior leader in the Taliban Intelligence Service.
  6. The detainee stated that a director in the ministry of intelligence quickly promoted him. The detainee did not receive any formal training for his new position.
  7. The detainee spent the last four years before his capture working in the operations department of the ministry of intelligence in Kabul for the Taliban. The detainee was in charge of crime scenes and small case investigations.
  8. The detainee left Kabul on the last day that the Taliban still had control. The detainee was able to get a ride from a person who worked for the minister of interior criminal division. This person was traveling in a Toyota pick up truck with 14 associates who were armed with two rocket-propelled grenades (RPG-7s), 20 Kalashnikov rifles and two PK machine guns.
  9. The detainee couriered a letter between the Taliban Chief of Intelligence and a Taliban military commander.
  10. The detainee attended a meeting with a military commander, a senior Taliban intelligence member, a couple of Americans, and the Americans' translator. Shortly after the meeting, the Taliban intelligence member and the detainee were arrested.
c. Other Relevant Data
  1. There was no specialized training given to civilian intelligence officers. It was assumed that officers already knew how to use pistols.
  2. The detainee worked with 13 to 14 men. The detainee did not have an official title, wore ordinary civilian clothes, and carried a Russian made pistol.
  3. The detainee was issued a concealed weapons permit and had the permit on his person at the time of his capture.
  4. The detainee believed he was arrested because he had a pistol on his hip.

The following primary factors favor release or transfer

a. The detainee denies any prior knowledge of the attacks on 11 September 2001 and claims to have no personal knowledge of al Qaida or its operatives.
b. The detainee had never heard of al Qaida until the Americans started bombing in Afghanistan. The detainee thinks Usama bin Laden brought war to Afghanistan.
c. The detainee claims to be no more than a simple shopkeeper who helped Americans.
d. The detainee stated that his only wish was to return to Afghanistan and assist his ailing father with operating the family appliance store in Kabul.
e. The detainee explained that when he identified the head of Taliban Intelligence as his brother-in-law that it was a lie to shut up the interrogator.
f. The detainee explained that his work in the security office was simply to perform manual labor and drive different people in the office to their destinations.
g. The detainee denied any intelligence collecting activities during his work with the Taliban.
h. The detainee stated that he worked for the people, not the Taliban.
i. The detainee claims his involvement with the Taliban should not be viewed as synonymous to the Taliban's ideology. The detainee claims he joined the Taliban because it was a matter of political and survival necessity.

Repatriation

A captive named "Ghulam Ruhani" was transferred to Afghan custody in "a U.S-sponsored lockup near Kabul.[4] An American sponsored wing of the Pul-e-charkhi prison was opened near Kabul, in mid 2007. This 316 cell prison was built at a cost of $30 million, to enable captives to be transferred from Guantanamo and the Bagram Theater internment facility.

According to an article by Carol Rosenberg, writing in the Miami Herald, Ghulam Ruhani had initially been held with David Hicks and John Walker Lindh, aboard a USN warship.[4] Ruhani was one of the first twenty captives transferred to Guantanamo on January 11, 2002, whose images were captured in a widely republished picture of kneeling captives.

On November 25, 2008 the Department of Defense published a list of when Guantanamo captives were repatriated.[11] According to that list he was repatriated on December 12, 2007.

The Center for Constitutional Rights reports that all of the Afghans repatriated to Afghanistan from April 2007 were sent to Afghan custody in the American built and supervised wing of the Pul-e-Charkhi prison near Kabul.[12]

[13] [14] [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23] [24]

References

  1. 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. http://www.dod.mil/news/May2006/d20060515%20List.pdf. Retrieved 2007-09-29. 
  2. Sketches of Guantanamo detainees-Part I, The State (newspaper), March 15, 2006
  3. Abdul Salam Zaeef (2010). "Torture and Abuse on the USS Bataan and in Bagram and Kandahar: An Excerpt from "My Life with the Taliban" by Mullah Abdul Salam Zaeef". Archived from the original on 2010-12-16. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.andyworthington.co.uk%2F2010%2F12%2F12%2Ftorture-and-abuse-on-the-uss-bataan-and-in-bagram-and-kandahar-an-excerpt-from-my-life-with-the-taliban-by-mullah-abdul-salam-zaeef%2F&date=2010-12-16. "We were not permitted to talk to each other, but could see one another while the food was handed to us. I eventually saw that Mullahs Fazal, Noori, Burhan, Wasseeq Sahib and Rohani were all among the other prisoners, but still we could not talk to each other." 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Carol Rosenberg (2008-01-17). "7 of first Guantánamo captives now home". Miami Herald. http://www.miamiherald.com/news/breaking_news/story/382503.html. Retrieved 2008-01-24. "A Taliban member from the first flight, Ghulam Ruhani, has just gone home -- to a U.S-sponsored lockup near Kabul. In the earliest days of the American-led coalition assault on Afghanistan, he was held on a U.S. Navy ship at sea, along with Hicks and American captive John Walker, now serving in a federal penitentiary in California for being a Taliban foot soldier." [dead link] mirror
  5. OARDEC, Index to Transcripts of Detainee Testimony and Documents Submitted by Detainees at Combatant Status Review Tribunals Held at Guantanamo Between July 2004 and March 2005, September 4, 2007
  6. OARDEC (25 August 2004). "Summary of Evidence for Combatant Status Review Tribunal -- Ruhani, Gholam". United States Department of Defense. pp. page 3. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt_arb/000001-000100.pdf#3. Retrieved 2008-03-18. 
  7. OARDEC (date redacted). "Summarized Unsworn Detainee Statement, read by Personal Representative". United States Department of Defense. pp. pages 7–12. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/Reading_Room/Detainee_Related/Set_42_2728-2810.pdf#7. Retrieved 2008-03-18. 
  8. OARDEC (2 May 2005). "Unclassified Summary of Evidence for Administrative Review Board in the case of Ruhani, Gholam". United States Department of Defense. pp. pages 54–55. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt_arb/ARB_Round_1_Factors_001046-001160.pdf#54. Retrieved 2008-04-19. 
  9. Summarized transcript (.pdf), from Gholam Ruhani's Administrative Review Board hearing - pages 152-163
  10. OARDEC (22 March 2006). "Unclassified Summary of Evidence for Administrative Review Board in the case of Ruhani, Gholam". United States Department of Defense. pp. pages 1–3. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt_arb/ARB_Round_2_Factors_1-99.pdf#1. Retrieved 2008-04-19. 
  11. OARDEC (2008-10-09). "Consolidated chronological listing of GTMO detainees released, transferred or deceased". Department of Defense. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/09-F-0031_doc1.pdf. Retrieved 2008-12-28. 
  12. "International Travel". Center for Constitutional Rights. 2008. http://ccrjustice.org/files/CCR_Annual_Report_2008.pdf. Retrieved 2009-03-13. "CCR attorney Pardiss Kebriaei traveled to Kabul to follow the situation of Guantánamo prisoners being returned to Afghanistan. Since April 2007, all such prisoners have been sent to a U.S.-built detention facility within the Soviet era Pule-charkhi prison located outside Kabul."  mirror
  13. Carol D. Leonnig, Julie Tate (2007-01-16). "Some at Guantanamo Mark 5 Years in Limbo: Big Questions About Low-Profile Inmates". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2012-11-08. http://web.archive.org/web/20121108204918/http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/15/AR2007011501227_pf.html. Retrieved 2017-02-22. "It is unknown what classified evidence exists to hold Ruhani, who said he was newly married and trying to help his elderly father run an electrical supply store when he was arrested on Dec. 9, 2001. The military tribunal that reviewed his case in 2004 publicly concluded that he was a danger because he was captured with a senior Taliban intelligence officer, was carrying rounds for his pistol and had worked as a part-time aide in a Taliban security office." 
  14. Anand Gopal (2014-06-05). "Taliban prisoner swap makes sense". CNN. Archived from the original on 2016-08-13. http://web.archive.org/web/20160813232757/http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/05/opinion/gopal-taliban-bergdahl-deal/. Retrieved 2017-02-22. "Ghulam Rohani, who was arrested with Wasiq, has rejoined the fight since his release that same year." 
  15. Rebecca Dick (2008-06-20). "TD Blog Interview with Rebecca Dick". The Talking Dog. Archived from the original on 2016-03-28. http://web.archive.org/web/20160328063417/http://thetalkingdog.com/archives2/001104.html. Retrieved 2017-02-22. "My clients are Abdul Haq Wasiq, Ghulam Rohani, Mohammad Nabi Omari, Abdullah Wazir Zadran, Dr. Hafizullah, Abdullah Mujahid Haq, Mohammad Zahir and Mohammad Rahim, all Afghan nationals. None of my clients currently at Guantanamo has been approved to leave. One was approved to leave in July 2005, however, and another was approved in 2006, but neither of these prisoners was sent home until December 2007. Throughout, Afghanistan actively sought the return of its prisoners, so the Defense Department's usual line -- "we're looking for a country to take them" wasn't the explanation here." 
  16. Jonathan Hafetz (2011). Habeas Corpus After 9/11: Confronting America's New Global Detention System. NYU Press. p. 37. ISBN 9780814737033. https://books.google.ca/books?id=-fcTCgAAQBAJ&pg=PA37&lpg=PA37&dq=%22Gholam+Ruhani%22+OR+%22Ghulam+Rohani%22+OR+%22Gholam+Ruhani%22+OR+%22Ghulam+Rohani%22+Guantanamo&source=bl&ots=-C6zNAy60v&sig=OhmdnTme-TCwxfacQROUiBbr194&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwignLOG9abSAhUmw4MKHXEuAc8Q6AEIjgEwGg#v=onepage&q=%22Gholam%20Ruhani%22%20OR%20%22Ghulam%20Rohani%22%20OR%20%22Gholam%20Ruhani%22%20OR%20%22Ghulam%20Rohani%22%20Guantanamo&f=false. Retrieved 2017-02-22. "Or Ghulam Rohani, an Afghan shopkeeper who was seized near his hometown and conscripted into the Taliban by force and who agreed to do menial cleaning and clerical jobs at a nearby police station rather than fight on the front lines." 
  17. Mark P. Denbeaux, Jonathan Hafetz, (2011). The Guantánamo Lawyers: Inside a Prison Outside the Law. NYU Press. p. 101, 340. ISBN 9780814785058. https://books.google.ca/books?id=7GsTCgAAQBAJ&pg=PA101&lpg=PA101&dq=%22Gholam+Ruhani%22+OR+%22Ghulam+Rohani%22+OR+%22Gholam+Ruhani%22+OR+%22Ghulam+Rohani%22+Guantanamo&source=bl&ots=l47s2jlOcm&sig=g52p5FwHKMa6QVowNcjMDpmamis&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwignLOG9abSAhUmw4MKHXEuAc8Q6AEIhQEwGA#v=onepage&q=%22Gholam%20Ruhani%22%20OR%20%22Ghulam%20Rohani%22%20OR%20%22Gholam%20Ruhani%22%20OR%20%22Ghulam%20Rohani%22%20Guantanamo&f=false. Retrieved 2017-02-22. 
  18. Carol Rosenberg (2015-01-10). "First flight: 8 of first 20 ‘worst of worst’ still at Guantánamo". Miami Herald. http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/guantanamo/article5972064.html. Retrieved 2017-02-22. "Gholam Ruhani, 40, an Afghan held as Detainee 003, was transferred back to Afghanistan Dec. 12, 2007, with 12 other Afghans." 
  19. Thomas Joscelyn (2014-12-24). "4 Gitmo detainees transferred to Afghanistan are veteran insurgents, files allege". Long War Journal. Archived from the original on 2017-02-11. http://web.archive.org/web/20170211191145/http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2014/12/4_gitmo_detainees_tr.php. Retrieved 2017-02-22. "DNA tests revealed that Zahir and Gholam Ruhani, who was transferred from Guantanamo to Afghanistan in 2007, “are related and possibly siblings.” Ruhani is “an admitted Taliban Intelligence member” and was the “head of Taliban operations and security in Kabul.”" 
  20. Abdul Salam Zaeef (2010). My Life with the Taliban. Oxford University Press. p. 322, 376. ISBN 9781849044448. https://books.google.ca/books?id=CIMJDAAAQBAJ&pg=PA280&lpg=PA280&dq=%22Gholam+Ruhani%22+OR+%22Ghulam+Rohani%22+OR+%22Gholam+Ruhani%22+OR+%22Ghulam+Rohani%22+Guantanamo&source=bl&ots=OF8bYooeHV&sig=MFLXzns7wzOCqr5QXWhyZCPtaPI&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwignLOG9abSAhUmw4MKHXEuAc8Q6AEIWjAP#v=onepage&q=%22Gholam%20Ruhani%22%20OR%20%22Ghulam%20Rohani%22%20OR%20%22Gholam%20Ruhani%22%20OR%20%22Ghulam%20Rohani%22%20Guantanamo&f=false. Retrieved 2017-02-22. 
  21. Andy Worthington (2011-11-22). "The Complete Guantánamo Files: WikiLeaks and the Prisoners Released in 2007 (Part One of Ten)". http://www.andyworthington.co.uk/2011/11/22/the-complete-guantanamo-files-wikileaks-and-the-prisoners-released-in-2007-part-one-of-ten/. Retrieved 2017-02-22. "Ruhani, however, was adamant that he was not the “number three in Taliban intel.” He said that he was a Taliban conscript, who fulfilled his duties in a clerical capacity to avoid being sent to the front lines, and explained that he was asked to attend the meeting between the Taliban and the Americans because he had learned a little English while studying electronics manuals in a store run by his elderly father." 
  22. Mujib Mashal (January 2014). "The Pious Spy". Harper's magazine. http://harpers.org/archive/2014/01/the-pious-spy/9/. Retrieved 2017-02-22. "Ahmadullah learned of the ambush at the last moment and fled. But his deputy and cousin, Abdul Haq Wasiq, and his brother-in-law, Ghulam Rohani, had already reached the appointed location. They were bound, gagged, and taken away." 
  23. Rebecca B. Dick (2008-07-22). "Rohani v. Bush". US Department of Justice. https://archive.org/stream/gov.uscourts.dcd.118283/gov.uscourts.dcd.118283.98.2_djvu.txt. Retrieved 2017-02-22. "Most of the unclassified claims raised against Petitioner Rohani in his 2004 CSRT and his subsequent ARBs relate to his civilian work for the Taliban government prior to the U.S. entry into Afghanistan, and have nothing to do with harboring terrorists, or supporting anti-U.S. or anti-coalition efforts." 
  24. United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary (2007). Restoring Habeas Corpus: Protecting American Values and the Great Writ : Hearing Before the Committee on the Judiciary, United States Senate, One Hundred Tenth Congress, First Session, May 22, 2007, United States.. United States Senate. https://books.google.ca/books?id=s9j_fh23eq8C&dq=%22Gholam+Ruhani%22+OR+%22Ghulam+Rohani%22+OR+%22Gholam+Ruhani%22+OR+%22Ghulam+Rohani%22+Guantanamo&focus=searchwithinvolume&q=detainees+such+as+gholam+ruhani. Retrieved 2017-02-22. 
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External links