|Arrested November 2001|
Released 2005-07-19 Afghanistan
Name Moheb Borekzai
|Charge(s) No charge (held in extrajudicial detention)|
Detained at Guantanamo Bay detention camp
People also search for Abdul Khaled Ahmed Sahleh Al Bedani
Alternate name Moheb Ullah Borekzai
Intvu with former Guantanamo detainee, comments on Quran abuse
Muhibullah or Moheb Ullah Borekzai is a citizen of Afghanistan who was held in extrajudicial detention in the United States's Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba. His Guantanamo Internment Serial Number was 546. American intelligence analysts estimate that Muhibullah was born in 1982, in Shah Wali Koot, Afghanistan.
- Intvu with former Guantanamo detainee comments on Quran abuse
- Conflicting accounts of his real name
- Official status reviews
- Office for the Administrative Review of Detained Enemy Combatants
- Pentagon claim he had returned to the fight
He was captured in Afghanistan in November 2001, transferred to Guantanamo on May 5, 2002, and was transferred to Afghanistan on July 19, 2005. US Intelligence analysts have asserted that Muhibullah was a recidivist, who, after his transfer, “engaged in terrorism or militant activity” and had “re-engaged in terrorism”.
When Borekzai and fellow Afghan captive Habir Russol were repatriated in July 2005, they provided the first account of a widespread hunger strike. Borekzai also offered accounts of Quran abuse.
Conflicting accounts of his real name
Guantanamo contained at least two captives with very similar names. Guantanamo captive 974 was listed as Mohe Bullar on the official lists released on April 20, 2006 and May 15, 2006.
However, in the Associated Press interview he gave upon his repatriation his name was listed as Moheb Ullah Borezkai.
Official status reviews
Initially the Bush administration asserted that they could withhold all the protections of the Geneva Conventions to captives from the war on terror. However, in 2004, in Rasul v. Bush the United States Supreme Court ruled that the captives had to be informed of the justifications for their detention, and had to be given an opportunity to try to refute those allegations.
Office for the Administrative Review of Detained Enemy Combatants
In response to the Supreme Court ruling in Rasul v. Bush the Department of Defense set up the Office for the Administrative Review of Detained Enemy Combatants, which conducted annual reviews of the captives status. Borekzai had reviews scheduled in 2004, and he chose to attend both of them.
According to Andy Worthington, the author of The Guantanamo Files Borekzai had been a Taliban conscript, who was taken captive by post-Taliban forces, handed over the powerful militia leader Ismael Khan, who, in turn, sold him the US forces. Worthington noted with skepticism that American analysts accepted the claim that 19-year-old conscript Borekzai was the "acting governor of Sheberghan". Addressing the claim of American analysts that he “was part of a tribal militia that supported the Taliban for three and a half years since 1998″ Worthington pointed out that “it should be noted, he was 15 or 16 years old, and was therefore not responsible for his actions, which, presumably, were dictated by his family.″
On November 26, 2008 the Department of Defense published a list of when captives left Guantanamo. According to that list Mohibullah was repatriated on July 19, 2005.
Reporters interviewed Borekzai, and Habir Russol, another Afghan who was released at the same time, on July 20, 2005, the day they arrived home. In this interview they revealed that Camp Delta was in the midst of a widespread hunger strike. Borekzai and Russol estimated that over 180 detainees were participating in the hunger strike, and that it had been going on for over two weeks. Initially DoD spokesman Flex Plexico denied any knowledge of a hunger strike.
In her book Democracy Detained: Secret Unconstitutional Practices in the U.S. War on Terror Barbara Olshansky, a senior lawyer with the Center for Constitutional Rights, attributed the first public news of the hunger strike to Borekzai and Russol. She noted that DoD press officers initially denied there was a hunger strike, but that “over the course of the week following Russol and Borezkai's public announcement, the Defense Department was forced to admit that yet another strike was ongoing.”
On July 21, 2005, three days after their departure, Plexico claimed that only a small number of detainees had been refusing food, and that they had only been doing so for three days. The lawyers of Guantanamo details later corroborated the details of the Afghans claims, saying that they had been aware of the hunger strike as early as June 23, 2005, but had not been able to say anything because of a DoD gag place on them.
Borekzai told the Associated Press the detainees were protesting because "some of these people say they were mistreated during interrogation. Some say they are innocent." The two Afghans said they had been accused of being members of the former Taliban regime, but both said they were innocent.
Borekzai said that camp authorities had announced over the camp public address system that guards would stop showing disrespect to Quran, and that he was not aware of any recent incidents.
Pentagon claim he had "returned to the fight"
On May 20, 2009, the New York Times, citing an unreleased Pentagon document, reported that Department of Defense officials claimed Mohibullah was one of 74 former Guantanatmo captives who "are engaged in terrorism or militant activity." On May 27, 2009, the Defense Intelligence Agency published a "fact sheet" listing Guantanamo captives who had "re-engaged in terrorism". It stated that Mohibullah was suspected of "association with the Taliban".