Hamidullah (Guantanamo Bay detainee 1119)

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Hamidullah (Guantanamo Bay detainee 1119)
Born 1963[1][2]
Kabul Province, Afghanistan
Died May 2020[3] (aged 56–57)
Other names Qari Hamdullah
Hamid al Razak
Hamid Allah Mowlowi Saedara Saed Abd Al Razak

Hamidullah was a citizen of Afghanistan, who was held in extrajudicial detention in the United States's Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba.[4] His Guantanamo Internee Security Number was 1119. Joint Task Force Guantanamo counter-terrorism analysts estimate he was born in 1963, in Kabul, Afghanistan.

He was transferred to the United Arab Emirates on August 15, 2016.[5][6]

A senior Taliban leader, also named Hamidullah, surrendered on 24 November 2001.[7]

According to a widely republished Associated Press article:[8]

  • ...was accused of having ties to Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin
  • ...claimed he had been imprisoned by the Taliban, and had escaped and had been living as a refugee in Pakistan.
  • ...blamed his capture on false denunciations prompted by his support for the return of former King Zahir Shah

Inconsistent identification

He was identified inconsistently on official US Government documents.

Combatant Status Review Tribunal

Combatant Status Review Tribunals were held in a 3 x 5 meter trailer. The captive sat with his hands and feet shackled to a bolt in the floor.[13][14] Three chairs were reserved for members of the press, but only 37 of the 574 Tribunals were observed.[15]

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 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.

Scholars at the Brookings Institute, lead by Benjamin Wittes, listed the captives still held in Guantanamo in December 2008, according to whether their detention was justified by certain common allegations[16]:

  • Haji Hamidullah was listed as one of the captives who "The military alleges ... are associated with Al Qaeda."[16]
  • Haji Hamidullah was listed as one of the captives who was a "Taliban fighters and operatives."[16]


Hamidullah chose to participate in his Combatant Status Review Tribunal.[17]


Hamidullah acknowledged being a member of HIG, but fifteen years ago, during his youth; elder members of his family pushed him into it. He had served under a commander named Abdul Khadar. It was during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and everyone joined one or another of the groups resisting the Soviets. When the Taliban came to power he cut all ties with HiG.

He said he thought the Taliban would bring unity to Afghanistan, and the tribal and regional wars would disappear, and had gone to enlist with them. However, they threw him in prison, because of his earlier association with HiG.

He denied that he controlled a weapons cache. He stated that he was illiterate, and this would have barred him from such an important task.

He said he was not arrested in the home of an al-Qaeda financier. He said he was arrested in a house where he had been told to stay by Mullah Izat, a Northern Alliance commander, when he had returned to Afghanistan. After he escaped from the Taliban he and his family had been staying in Pakistan, as refugees, during the Taliban's time in power.

He said that he had some responsibilities for a group of fighters - but fifteen years ago, during the Soviet occupation. Further, he had not been that group's commander, but rather he was the one sent to the market to shop for foodstuff.

He said that when the Americans evicted the Taliban he wanted to work to help bring former king Zahir Shah back to power. He said he made contact with General Rahim Wardak. He said Defense Minister Fahim Khan and Besmil Khan, the commander of the Northern Alliance sent him a message:

...don't do this; we are mujahedin, and the King is a Western guy, and we don't need him. This won't be good for your future.

He had once attended a speech by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, the founder of HiG. However, he had never met him.

When told that the Tribunal was going to go into closed session, to consider the classified evidence, he was asked if there was anything he said during any of his interrogations that he wanted to expand on, or correct. He replied that the allegations about storing weapons and about the leadership meeting were new. He had never been asked about them during his interrogations.

The Tribunal officers commented on his willingness to cooperate, and asked why he was wearing an orange uniform.


His witness was Nasrat Khan. Khan testified that he had known Hamidullah's father in the HiG and that he met Hamidullah when he joined, as a teenager. He testified that he remembered Hamidullah's desertion.

Hamidullah's orange uniform

Hamidullah's Tribunal officers asked him to explain why he was wearing an orange uniform—the uniform issued to Guantanamo captives regarded as "non-compliant".

Q: I wonder why you're still wearing an orange uniform, and are not wearing a white or tan uniform.
A: Yes, I've only been in this [color] two days.
Q: What color were you before?
A: White. I argued with some guys; one guy was bad, but I was bad too because I should've shut my mouth.
Q: One dispute, and you're in orange?
A: Yes, the military's very strict, but that is not a big problem. When I met the Personal Representative, I was in white clothes; I never lied to you, and everything I say I have evidence (for).
Q: The dispute you recently had that caused you to change uniform colors; was it with other Detainees?
A: Yes, with another Detainee. He started it first, and he was bad, but I was bad, too. I should keep my mouth shut. It's hard when you're wrongfully imprisoned; sometimes I think of my kids and family, and get upset.

Habeas petition 05-cv-1691

Several petitions of habeas corpus were filed on Hamidullah's behalf, including 05-cv-1601 and 05-CV-1691.[11][18][19][20][21] In September 2007, the Department of Defense published the unclassified dossiers arising from the Combatant Status Review Tribunals of 179 captives.[22] The Department of Defense published 37 pages from his Tribunal.

On December 2, 2006, one of Hamidullah's habeas corpus hearings stirred controversy when the Bush administration tried to prohibit attorneys from contacting him.[20][21]

Tribunal panel 12 convened on December 13, 2004, and confirmed his "enemy combatant" status.[19]


Hamidullah chose to participate in his Administrative Review Board hearing.[23]

Hamidullah's statement

Hamidullah spoke at length about the problems that had beset Afghanistan because of the armed struggle between different groups. He decried how Afghanistan had become the world's training ground for terrorism and suicide bombers. He decried those who used suicide bombers, and expressed suspicion over their true motives.

He described how he wanted to work for a strong, unified, popular tolerant, democratic government. He welcomed the intercession of the United Nations and the United States. He said: "With this new conditions under the United States and United Nations, whoever were a true patriot...whoever was [a] supporter of humanity and human rights and he wanted to rebuild Afghanistan. He [would] supported the new government..."

He said that after the United States intervention some of their nominal allies worked, under the table, to hurt the new regime and cause chaos. He believed Burhanuddin Rabbani, Abdul Rasul Sayyaf and Mohammed Fahim, were among those who did not have the best interests of the new regime at heart. He expressed his suspicions that the Russians were backing the chaos-sowers.


In September 2007 the Department of Defense published a sixteen-page summarized transcript from the unclassified session of his second Administrative Review Board hearing.[24]

Enemy Combatant election form

Hamidullah's Assisting Military Officer reported on the notes from the Enemy Combatant election form completed on 4 April 2006. They met for sixty minutes for a pre-hearing interview. His Assisting Military Officer described him as "very cooperative and attentive" during the interview.

HIG identification

Hamidullah explained that for refugees in Pakistan to receive food aid they needed to have an ID card. Militia groups, like the HIG, issued ID cards. Possessing one of these cards did not imply membership in the militia. He estimated that more than two million refugees had been issued HIG ID cards.

Habeas corpus 05-cv-1601

Civil Action No. 05-cv-1601 was re-initiated in late 2008.

Military Commissions Act

The Military Commissions Act of 2006 mandated that Guantanamo captives were no longer entitled to access the US civil justice system, so all outstanding habeas corpus petitions were stayed.[25]

Boumediene v. Bush

On 12 June 2008 the United States Supreme Court ruled, in Boumediene v. Bush, that the Military Commissions Act could not remove the right for Guantanamo captives to access the US Federal Court system. And all previous Guantanamo captives' habeas petitions were eligible to be re-instated. The judges considering the captives' habeas petitions would be considering whether the evidence used to compile the allegations the men and boys were enemy combatants justified a classification of "enemy combatant".[26]

Protective order

On 15 July 2008 Kristine A. Huskey filed a "NOTICE OF PETITIONERS' REQUEST FOR 30-DAYS NOTICE OF TRANSFER" on behalf of several dozen captives including Hamidullah.[27]


  1. https://int.nyt.com/data/documenttools/82416-isn-1119-hamidullah-jtf-gtmo-detainee-assessment/3e60f4747b9fd10e/full.pdf Template:Bare URL PDF
  2. https://www.prs.mil/Portals/60/Documents/ISN1119/20151112_U_ISN1119_GOVERNMENTS_UNCLASSIFIED_SUMMARY_PUBLIC.pdf Template:Bare URL PDF
  3. "Sent from Gitmo to UAE, detainees fear final stop: Yemen". 20 April 2021. https://apnews.com/article/afghanistan-united-arab-emirates-prisons-taliban-only-on-ap-d5e8096a268e842c6e32d8b41a9e2f16. 
  4. "List of Individuals Detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba from January 2002 through May 15, 2006". United States Department of Defense. 2006-05-15. http://www.dod.mil/news/May2006/d20060515%20List.pdf. 
  5. Camila Domonoske (2016-08-16). "15 Guantanamo Bay Detainees Transferred To United Arab Emirates". National Public Radio. https://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/08/16/490181416/15-guantanamo-bay-detainees-transferred-to-united-arab-emirates. "Two of the Afghan prisoners — Mohammed Kamin and Obaidallah, who only has one name — had been briefly charged in a military commission, The Miami Herald reports. The war crimes prosecutor dropped those charges." 
  6. Benjamin Wittes (2016-08-16). "A Big Guantanamo Transfer: Progress Towards the Site's Obsolescence". Lawfare. https://www.lawfareblog.com/big-guantanamo-transfer-progress-towards-sites-obsolescence. 
  7. Taliban in north surrender in droves Archived March 12, 2007, at the Wayback Machine., CNN, 24 November 2001
  8. Sketches of Guantanamo detainees-Part I[dead link], Associated Press, 15 March 2006
  9. OARDEC (2004-11-12). "Summary of Evidence for Combatant Status Review Tribunal -- Haji, Hamidullah". United States Department of Defense. p. 29. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt_arb/publicly_filed_CSRT_records_4738-4817.pdf#29. 
  10. OARDEC (2005-08-05). "Unclassified Summary of Evidence for Administrative Review Board in the case of Haji Hamidullah". United States Department of Defense. pp. 85–86. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt_arb/ARB_Round_1_Factors_000794-000894.pdf#85. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 Shayana D. Kadidal (18 July 2008). "Guantanamo Bay Detainee Litigation: Doc 153 -- Status Report". United States Department of Justice. http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/district-of-columbia/dcdce/1:2008mc00442/131990/153/0.pdf. "The above-captioned case was dismissed without prejudice on 12 April 2007, as a likely duplicate of petitioner Hamid Allah Mowlowi Saedara Saed Abd Al Razak, ISN 1119, who has a pending habeas corpus petition, 05-CV-1601." 
  12. "FNU Hamidullah v. George W. Bush". United States Department of Defense. 2006-12-06. pp. 1–37. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt_arb/publicly_filed_CSRT_records_4738-4817.pdf#1. 
  13. Guantánamo Prisoners Getting Their Day, but Hardly in Court, New York Times, 11 November 2004 - mirror Archived September 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  14. Inside the Guantánamo Bay hearings: Barbarian "Justice" dispensed by KGB-style "military tribunals", Financial Times, 11 December 2004
  15. "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. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Benjamin Wittes, Zaathira Wyne (2008-12-16). "The Current Detainee Population of Guantánamo: An Empirical Study". The Brookings Institute. http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/research/files/reports/2008/12/16%20detainees%20wittes/1216_detainees_wittes.pdf. Retrieved 2010-02-16. 
  17. OARDEC. "Summarized Unsworn Detainee Statement". United States Department of Defense. pp. 89–101. http://www.defenselink.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt/Set_47_3130-3248.pdf#89-101. 
  18. Gladys Kessler (2006-12-01). "Hamid al Razak v. George W. Bush -- Civil Action No. 05-cv-1601". United States Department of Justice. http://www.pegc.us/archive/Al-Razak/order_GK_20061201.pdf. 
  19. 19.0 19.1 "FNU Hamidullah et al. v. George W. Bush -- Civil Action No. 05-cv-1691". United States Department of Defense. 2006-12-06. pp. 1–37. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt_arb/publicly_filed_CSRT_records_4738-4817.pdf#1. 
  20. 20.0 20.1 John Heilprin (2006-12-02). "Guantanamo Inmates Turn to Freed Fellows". Boston Globe. http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2006/12/02/guantanamo_inmates_turn_to_freed_fellows/. "Like more than a hundred enemy combatants held without charges at the Navy's Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, Hamid Al Razak of Afghanistan turned to a fellow prisoner for legal help."  mirror
  21. 21.0 21.1 Carol D. Leonnig (2006-12-04). "A Judge's Sharp Opinion". Washington Post: p. A17. https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/12/03/AR2006120301123_pf.html.  mirror
  22. OARDEC (8 August 2007). "Index for CSRT Records Publicly Files in Guantanamo Detainee Cases". United States Department of Defense. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt_arb/index_publicly_filed_CSRT_records.pdf. 
  23. Summarized transcript (.pdf), from Haji Hamidullah's Administrative Review Board hearing - page 242
  24. OARDEC. "Summary of Administrative Review Proceedings for ISN 1119". United States Department of Defense. pp. 96–111. http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt_arb/ARB_Transcript_2801-2918.pdf#96. 
  25. Peter D. Keisler, Douglas N. Letter (2006-10-16). "NOTICE OF MILITARY COMMISSIONS ACT OF 2006". United States Department of Justice. http://natseclaw.typepad.com/natseclaw/files/Hamdan.28j.letter.pdf. 
  26. Farah Stockman (2008-10-24). "Lawyers debate 'enemy combatant'". Boston Globe. http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2008/10/24/lawyers_debate_enemy_combatant/. 
  27. Kristine A. Huskey (2008-07-15). "Guantanamo Bay Detainee Litigation: Doc 63 -- NOTICE OF PETITIONERS' REQUEST FOR 30-DAYS NOTICE OF TRANSFER". United States Department of Justice. http://docs.justia.com/cases/federal/district-courts/district-of-columbia/dcdce/1:2008mc00442/131990/63/0.pdf. 

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