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CCR-NY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NOVEMBER 7, 2005
3:31 PM

CONTACT: Center for Constitutional Rights
Mahdis Keshavarz, Riptide Communications, Inc. (212) 260-5000

 
Family of Suicidal Guantanamo Detainee Plead for his Healthy Return
 

WASHINGTON - November 7 - Jumah Al Dossari is a 32-year-old Bahraini national who has been held at the Guantánamo Bay prison facility for nearly four years. In mid-October during a visit with his attorney, Joshua Colangelo-Bryan from the New York based firm of Dorsey & Whitney, Mr. Al Dossari attempted suicide by hanging himself from a mesh wall after making a large gash in his arm. While it was not the first time Mr. Al Dossari attempted to end his life since arriving at Guantánamo, the action was a clear cry for help and a protest against the abhorrent and inhumane conditions currently suffered by the men detained at Guantánamo.

For the first time, the family of Jumah Al-Dossari has made an impassioned plea to the American people for information regarding their beloved son’s condition and to ask why he has been held for so long. The contents of the letter were released today by the Center for Constitutional Rights and attorneys from Dorsey & Whitney, which represented six Bahrainis held at Guantánamo, three of whom were released to their families over the weekend. The three men were never charged while at Guantánamo and were released to Bahraini officials as free men after four years of unjustified detention.

The letter signed by Al Dossari’s brother, Khaled Al Dossari:

In the name of God the Compassionate the Merciful

My Dear American Brethren,

I have been extremely disturbed by the condition of my brother Jumah and have been thinking about all that has befallen him in the form of torture and degradation and humiliation in the American internment camps. I have been wondering and concerned with how my brother -- the very light-hearted and sensitive brother that I know -- has stood this kind of treatment from a nation such as America: the same America that has continuously stood for human rights, freedom, justice and equality. The foundations of my existence have been shaken by these acts: where is the sense of humanity, where is the human conscience, where is compassion, where is brotherhood? I do not know what to say and what to write. I have not lived through what my brother has been living through, and I have not experienced the unspeakable treatment he has received. My brother Jumah is a sensitive man, and a poet; he is kind-hearted, never wishing to harm others under any circumstances. He has constantly stood for reconciliation and love and has always refused violence and anything close to it. And he loves America and has always been partial to America’s sense of humanism.

My aging father is under treatment suffering from cancer of the esophagus and is nearing the final days of his life. He is eager to see my brother Jumah before his passing and he is constantly crying over his separation from his son. And my old mother is agonized and heart-broken over the sickness of her husband and life-partner, seeing him in such condition compounded by the fact that her son, her flesh and blood, is far from her, being tortured and beaten and humiliated. She does not know what his future holds and does not know when he will return to her warm embrace, her care and her love for him. My poor mother ails from numerous diseases and cries for hours throughout the day over the absence of her son, not knowing whether or not she will see him ever again. And Nura, my brother’s daughter, cries and says, “Where is Daddy, all the girls have a dad but me.” And she cries for him and misses his warm embrace and is eagerly waiting to be in his presence. No one, of course, could replace the love of a parent for her.

America is a free country, how can such things happen there? Is America not a member of the Geneva conventions? Why are the prisoners in the internment camps in Guantánamo suffering such torture and are victims to the worst kinds of harm and humiliation? The American people are a great people who would never stand for such abuses of human rights and would never agree to the harming of other humans. Therefore, it is incumbent on the American people to act immediately and to reject such inhuman treatment so that America could remain a country devoted to freedom and democracy.

My brother right now is in a state of physical and mental break-down. It will be years for him to recover from his painful experiences and traumatic memories. And so we ask the freedom-loving people of America to intervene and we urge you to free my brother immediately and to intervene in the circumstances of my brother Jumah Muhammad al-Dossari and to return him to his nation before too much time passes or before something unspeakable happens to him. And we the family of the inmate Jumah are as pained as can be from the separation from my brother Jumah and by what has befallen him and we wish to see him soon.

And finally I would like to thank the team of lawyers and activists on behalf of Jumah's case, and thank them for their great efforts to take away the injustice that has befallen him and to show the truth about him.

Thank you all,

The brother of inmate Jumah al-Dossari,

Khaled Mohammad al-Dossari

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