Irek Hamidullah

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Irek Hamidullah
Nationality Russia
Known for Held in extrajudicial detention by the USA

Irek Hamidullah is a citizen of Russia, who the United States reports they captured in Afghanistan in 2009.[1][2] Irek Hamidullah is said to be a nom de guerre, of a Russian in his 50s, who defected from the Soviet Union's armed forces, occupying Afghanistan, in the 1980s. His real name is not known, nor how he spent the decades between his defection from the Soviet Union and his capture by the Americans, although the Americans have said they believe he participated in "several" attacks on US forces. It is known that he was recovering from wounds, when captured.

The Washington Post reported in December 2013 that Hamidullah was one of the several dozen long term captives held in the Bagram Theater Internment Facility, who were not citizens of Afghanistan.[1]

The Washington Post reported the Hamidullah was considered one of the foreigners with the strongest evidence against him, and that the Department of Defense wanted to bring him to the United States, to face charges before a military commission like the controversial Guantanamo military commissions.[1] They reported the DoD was planning to try to bring less than ten foreign captives from Afghanistan to the USA to face charges before a military commission.[2] Quoting officials who would not put their name on record the Washington Post reported “He’s pretty well-connected in the terrorist world,” and that he had ties to Chechen rebels, and two Afghan opposition militias, and that he had declared he would “return to jihad,” if released.

The US Congress has restricted United States President from bringing Guantanamo captives to United States territory -- even those who had been determined not to have been enemy combatants, after all.[1][2] But Congress didn't consider the possibility that captives held outside of Guantanamo might be brought to the US, so the restriction does not apply to them. United States Senators Saxby Chambliss and Lindsey Graham argued, instead, that men like Hamidullah should be sent to Guantanamo.

Human Rights scholars and legal experts questioned whether it was appropriate to charge these men before the troubled and largely unprecedented military commission system, when the USA had successfully prosecuted hundreds of terrorists in the regular US civilian justice system.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Adam Goldman, Karen DeYoung (2013-12-17). "Military trial in U.S. being considered for Russian detained in Afghanistan". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2014-03-08. Retrieved 2014-03-08. "The Russian is a veteran of the Soviet war in Afghanistan in the 1980s who deserted and ended up fighting U.S. forces after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. U.S. officials said the man, thought to be in his mid- to late 50s, is suspected of involvement in several 2009 attacks in which U.S. troops were wounded or killed. He was wounded during an assault on an Afghan border post that year and later captured." 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Adam Goldman (2014-02-25). "U.S. quietly whittles down foreign detainee population at facility in Afghanistan". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2014-03-08. Retrieved 2014-03-08. "Among the best candidates, officials say, is a Russian who was captured several years ago. He is suspected of participating in insurgent attacks in Afghanistan in 2009. Officials say Brig. Gen. Mark Martins, the chief military prosecutor, is eager to prosecute the Russian, whose nom de guerre is Irek Hamidullan."