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Profile: Bisher al-Rawi

 
  

Positions that Bisher al-Rawi has held:



 

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Bisher al-Rawi actively participated in the following events:

 
  

November 8, 2002-December 5, 2002      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Bisher al-Rawi and Jamil al-Banna, both British citizens, and Abdullah El-Janoudi, a legal British resident, travel from London to Gambia, reportedly in relation to a mobile peanut oil processing company set up by Rawi's brother, Wahab al-Rawi. [Amnesty International, 8/19/2003] The British security services instruct their Gambian counterparts to arrest the men upon arrival. As the three men exit the plane at Banjul airport, they are arrested by members of the Gambian National Intelligence Agency (NIA). Wahab has already arrived at Banjul and is at the airport to meet them. He is also arrested. The three men are told they have been arrested because of irregularities with their papers. When Wahab refuses to cooperate and asks either for a lawyer or a representative from the British high commission, the Gambian agents laugh and tell him it was the British who ordered the arrests. [The Guardian, 7/11/2003] They are subsequently interrogated by the NIA in Banjul and then by US agents who have a file on Bisher from the British. According to the file, Bisher's hobbies include flying planes and parachuting. According to Livio Zilli of Amnesty International, one of them is warned that if he does not cooperate he will be turned over to the Gambian police who will “beat and rape him.” [Amnesty International, 8/19/2003] According to a later habeas petition filed in court, they are subjected to “‘stress and duress’ techniques at the direction of the representatives of the United States.” [Sources: Petition for writ of habeas corpus for Bisher al-Rawi, Jamil el-Banna and Martin Mubanga, 7/8/2004]
People and organizations involved: Jamil al-Banna, Wahab al-Rawi, Amnesty International, Bisher al-Rawi, Abdullah El-Janoudi
          

(December 2002 or January 2003)      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Bisher Al-Rawi and Jamil al-Banna are detained incommunicado in Banjul, Gambia, for roughly two months. From there they are transferred to Bagram in secret. [Amnesty International, 8/19/2003] Bisher al-Rawi will later say that in Bagram, he was subjected to sleep deprivation and intimidation. [The Independent, 1/16/2005] The fact that they are taken to Bagram first, and only later to Guantanamo, fuels suspicions that they are tortured in Afghanistan. [The Guardian, 7/11/2003] At no time during their detention, are they permitted to see a lawyer, despite the fact that a habeas corpus petition has been filed on their behalf and is pending before British courts. By February or March, Rawi and Banna are in Guantanamo. [Amnesty International, AI Index AMR 51/114/2003, 8/19/2003 Sources: Petition for writ of habeas corpus for Bisher al-Rawi, Jamil el-Banna and Martin Mubanga, 7/8/2004] In Guantanamo, Al-Banna will tell Asif Iqbal that Bagram was “rough” and “that he had been forced to walk around naked, coming and going from the showers, having to parade past American soldiers or guards including women who would laugh at everyone who was put in the same position.” [Sources: Composite statement by Shafiq Rasul, Asif Iqbal and Rhuhel Ahmed: Detention in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, 7/26/2004]
People and organizations involved: Bisher al-Rawi, Asif Iqbal, Jamil al-Banna
          

December 5, 2002      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       After 27 days of interrogations in Gambia (see November 8, 2002-December 5, 2002), Wahab Al-Rawi and Abdullah El-Janoudi, both British citizens, are released without charge and returned to the UK. It is reported that the British High Commissioner intervened to secure their release. Wahab's mobile peanut oil processing company has failed as a result of his detention costing him $250,000. [The Guardian, 8/4/2004] Wahab's brother, Bisher Al-Rawi, and business partner, Jamil al-Banna, both legal British residents, will remain in US custody and end up at Guantanamo.
People and organizations involved: Abdullah El-Janoudi, Wahab al-Rawi, Bisher al-Rawi, Jamil al-Banna
          

February 2003      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       Bisher Al-Rawi and Jamil al-Banna arrive at Guantanamo and spend their first month in isolation. Al-Rawi's head and beard are shaven off as has allegedly already happened to Al-Banna during his detention at Bagram. Al-Banna is put in a cell next to Asif Iqbal's. “[S]oon after,” Iqbal recalls, Al-Banna “began to deteriorate.” At Guantanamo, according to Iqbal, “El-Banna was in constant pain from his joints because he suffered from rheumatism and he was diabetic.” [Sources: Composite statement by Shafiq Rasul, Asif Iqbal and Rhuhel Ahmed: Detention in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, 7/26/2004]
People and organizations involved: Bisher al-Rawi, Jamil al-Banna, Asif Iqbal
          

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