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The group Amnesty International Cartagena contributes to the release of a Guantanamo detainee (01/09/2008)

The local group of Amnesty International in Cartagena has today welcomed the release of Yousef Mohammed Mubarak al-Shehri, and he thanked all Cartagena and Cartagena with their signatures and letters have contributed to its release .

Yousef was arrested when he was 16 years and has spent more than 6 years as a prisoner in the military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The group Amnesty International Cartagena has worked for the past two years for this young Saudi prisoner.

At this time, have collected signatures, letters and postcards that were sent later to the U.S. and Saudi authorities demanding a fair trial for Yousef al-Shehri, or otherwise, for their immediate release.

"For a long time it should have done justice to this case and the nearly 280 detainees remaining at Guantanamo," said Jesus Baltanás, spokesperson for Amnesty International in the Region of Murcia.

Many of those detained over six years without charge or access to any tribunal, contrary to the ruling issued on 12 June by the U.S. Supreme Court, which recognizes the rights of foreign prisoners at Guantanamo to challenge their detention in court U.S. civilians.

"It's the third time since 2004 that the highest U.S. court rejects the arguments of the Bush administration, which contends it can detain people indefinitely without charge or trial and without meaningful access to justice," said Jesus Baltanás .

Furthermore, in the case of Yousef, being a minor at the time of his arrest, U.S. authorities have violated the Convention on the Rights of the Child (Article 37, Article 40), signed by US1, and violated the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by the U.S., on the involvement of children in armed conflict (art. 6) 2.

"All juveniles arrested and taken to Guantanamo and have over 18 years, but this does not change the fact that the treatment they received previously violated international principles on the treatment of minors.

Amnesty International considers that any person imprisoned in Guantanamo, accused of a crime committed when he was a minor, should be tried by a military tribunal, "said Baltanás.


Yousef al-Shehri was 16 when arrested in Afghanistan on November 30, 2001.

He was caught between Kunduz and Mazar-e-Sherif, along with 120 others, by forces of Northern Alliance General Abdul Rashid Dostum.

After his arrest, Yousef al-Shehri was transferred to Shiberghan prison in Afghanistan where he was held a month and a half.

He was subsequently transferred to the U.S. and January 16, 2002, he was flown to the detention center of the U.S. military base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

In 2005, Yousef al-Shehri participated in a hunger strike at Guantanamo, along with 200 other detainees to protest prison conditions in the field and for his continued detention without trial indefinitely.

The detainees stopped their hunger strike in July 2005, following the various promises by the authorities to improve prison conditions.

A Yousef al-Sheri told he would be released within three weeks if he ended his hunger strike.

But Yousef al-Shehri was not released and the field conditions did not improve.

And in August 2005, resumed the hunger strike, along with other detainees.

His lawyers could not visit until October 1, 2005, and as stated later, "was consumed and had lost weight dramatically.

He was visibly weak and frail and had difficulty speaking because of the injuries that forced feeding had caused in the throat. "

They put by force a nasal tube for feeding, without anesthesia or sedatives.

After being humiliated and tortured for more than six years, U.S. authorities have considered "no longer represents a threat to our nation, which has no value in terms of information and it will not be judged by the U.S. Government together with any offense. "

Source: Amnistía Internacional, Región de Murcia

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