NEW YORK - Abdullah Al Anazi is a 26 year old male from Saudi Arabia imprisoned at the Guantánamo Bay prison facility since 2002. During a trip to Guantánamo Bay in August 2005, his attorneys raised concerns with the U.S. government that their client was receiving inadequate medical care. Mr. Al Anazi is a double amputee who currently depends upon a defective pair of prosthetic legs provided to him by the United States military. Because the prosthetics do not fit properly, Mr. Al Anazi suffers from constant pain and infections caused by defective rings where the prostheses attach to his body.
During the visit with their client, Mr. Al Anazi’s attorneys noted that the sole and arch of the right foot of his prosthetic leg is held together with duct-tape, that the prosthetic foot was broken, and that the shoes he is given to wear with his prostheses make balancing and walking very difficult. His repeated requests for medical treatment have been denied by the U.S. government. His only recourse has been to remove both of his artificial legs for days at a time until the sores can heal, which leaves him virtually incapacitated.
Most troubling is Mr. Al Anazi’s accusation that access to a doctor to treat his pain and lesions is being conditioned upon his cooperation with interrogators.
Anant Raut, an attorney with the Washington, D.C.-based law firm of Weil, Gotshal & Manges and a cooperating attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights, represents Abdullah Al Anazi. Commenting on his client’s condition, Raut stated, "There was a time when we had the moral high ground in the war on terror. Now the government is withholding medical treatment from a double amputee in the name of intelligence gathering. The only reliable thing about information intelligence gained from torture is that it is 100 percent unreliable."
While working in Afghanistan on a charity mission, Mr. Al Anazi injured his legs when coalition forces started bombing the country after September 11th. Recuperating in a hospital in Afghanistan, Mr. Al Anazi was kidnapped by mercenaries and sold to American troops offering bounties to local warlords for alleged terrorists. Mr. Al Anazi has said, “I was pounced upon like a hawk would capture [a mouse], and sold like a fat sheep.” Between the start of the bombings and his arrival in Guantánamo, both of Mr. Al Anazi's legs were amputated below the knee, leaving him a double amputee and at the mercy of his captors.
In an open letter to the American people, Mr. Al Anazi’s family, whom he has not seen since first leaving for Afghanistan, make an impassioned plea for information regarding their beloved son’s condition and ask why he has been held for so long:
To every free and caring person seeking justice on earth. To every one who believes in justice and rejects injustice. The Al-Anazi family appeals to those and calls on them. We are expressing our sorrows and sadness of losing our son who disappeared. Where is he? Why is he beyond the continent and seas? About four years full of horrible dreams, full of sadness, full of worries and sickness. We are raising our voices to ask just a simple question: “Why?” Our waiting has exceeded all limitation. How can we struggle through life and enjoy it without our Abdullah? Where is humanity and democracy? We lost Abdullah and with losing him, happiness is lost.
A father without his son, without a supporter. A father looking and kissing a photo. A father slowly losing the lifeblood of his heart.
His mother who says she is losing her soul. Her daily life has changed. From one doctor to another, appointment after appointment. She has become a field for testing medicine. All people around her know her treatment “the return of Abdullah,” but who can save her? Whenever she tours the house, she starts crying when she sees his sport clothes and drawings. She is hanging his photo and observing it. He may talk to her !!!!!! Where are you human beings? Let all mothers read these words.
Twenty seven –his brothers and sisters –are appealing to all people who might concerned. They are inquiring:
1-Why is Abdullah there for such a long time?
2-How is our brother?
3-Did he really lose both of his legs?
4-Are helping humanities and charitable deeds a sin? If it is, so we apologize.
5-An innocent question from his young brothers and sisters, “Who will take us to school?”
Everyone in our city bears witness that Abdullah is a man of merciful heart, a man of responsibility, a man of morals and sensitive feelings. Thus, all people are awaiting his return. The dream is still alive.
—Abdullah Thani’s Family