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Profile: Jamil al-Banna

 
  

Positions that Jamil al-Banna has held:



 

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Jamil al-Banna 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
          

November 8, 2004      Torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere

       US District Judge James Robertson rules that the Combatant Status Review Tribunal being held at the Guantanamo base in Cuba to determine the status of detainee Salim Ahmed Hamdan is unlawful and cannot continue. At the time of the decision, Hamdan is before the Guantanamo military commission. [USA Today, 11/9/2004; Washington Post, 11/9/2004] Robertson, in his 45-page opinion, says the government should have conducted special hearings to determine whether detainees qualified for prisoner-of-war protections under the Geneva Conventions at the time of capture. [USA Today, 11/9/2004] He says that the Bush administration violated the Geneva Conventions when it designated prisoners as enemy combatants, denied them POW protections, and sent them to Guantanamo. [Boston Globe, 11/9/2004] The Combatant Status Review Tribunals that are currently being held in response to a recent Supreme Court decision (see June 28, 2004) are inadequate, Robertson says, because their purpose is to determine whether detainees are enemy combatants, not POWs, as required by the Third Geneva Convention. [USA Today, 11/9/2004] Robertson also rejects the administration's claim that the courts must defer to the president in a time of war. “The president is not a ‘tribunal,’ ” the judge says. [USA Today, 11/9/2004] Clinton appointee Robertson thus squarely opposes both the president's military order of November 13, 2001 (see November 13, 2001) establishing the possibility of trial by military tribunal, and his executive order of February 7, 2002 (see February 7, 2002) declaring that the Geneva Conventions do not to apply to Taliban and al-Qaeda prisoners. “The government has asserted a position starkly different from the positions and behavior of the United States in previous conflicts,” Robertson writes, “one that can only weaken the United States' own ability to demand application of the Geneva Conventions to Americans captured during armed conflicts abroad.” [USA Today, 11/9/2004; Washington Post, 11/9/2004; Boston Globe, 11/9/2004] Robertson orders that until the government conducts a hearing for Hamdan before a competent tribunal in accordance with the Third Geneva Conventions, he can only be tried in courts-martial, according to the same long-established military rules that apply to trials for US soldiers. [Boston Globe, 11/9/2004; Washington Post, 11/9/2004] Robertson's ruling is the first by a federal judge to assert that the commissions are illegal. [Washington Post, 11/9/2004] Anthony D. Romero, director of the American Civil Liberties Union; Eugene R. Fidell, president of the National Institute of Military Justice; and Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, all applaud Robertson's ruling. [Boston Globe, 11/9/2004] The Bush administration refutes the court's ruling and announces its intention to submit a request to a higher court for an emergency stay and reversal of the decision. “We vigorously disagree. ... The judge has put terrorism on the same legal footing as legitimate methods of waging war,” Justice Department spokesman Mark Corallo says. “The Constitution entrusts to the president the responsibility to safeguard the nation's security. The Department of Justice will continue to defend the president's ability and authority under the Constitution to fulfill that duty.” [Boston Globe, 11/9/2004; Washington Post, 11/9/2004] He also says that the commission rules were “carefully crafted to protect America from terrorists while affording those charged with violations of the laws of war with fair process.” [Boston Globe, 11/9/2004] Though the ruling technically only applies to Hamdan, Hamdan's civilian attorney, Neal Katyal, says it could affect other detainees. “The judge's order is designed only to deal with Mr. Hamdan's case,” Katyal says. “But the spirit of it ... extends more broadly to potentially everything that is going on here at Guantanamo.” [USA Today, 11/9/2004]
People and organizations involved: James Robertson, Supreme Court, Jamil al-Banna, Neal Katyal, Anthony D. Romero, Mark Corallo, George W. Bush, American Civil Liberties Union, Salim Ahmed Hamdan  Additional Info 
          

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