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Mamdouh Habib

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Mamdouh Habib
Arabic: ممدوح حبيب
Habib at an anti-war convention
Born (1955-06-03) 3 Juin 1955 (age 69)
Alexandria, Egyp
Arrestit5 October 2001
Released11 Januar 2005
Detained atGuantanamo Bay detainment camps
SpooseMaha Habib
BairnsIslam Hassam, Ahmed Mandouh Habib,
Mustafa Habib, Hajer Habib

Mamdouh Habib is an Egyptian-born Australie Muslim best kent for his extrajudicial detention in the Guantanamo Bay detainment camps, in Cuba, on suspicion o involvement in terrorism.[1]

The Unitit States accuised Habib o haein haed knawledge o the 11 September 2001 attacks, trainin the hijackers, stayin at an al-Qaeda safe hoose in Afghanistan, conductin surveillance, helpin tae transfer chemical wappens, an plannin tae hijack the aircraft uised in the 11 September attacks. Housomeivver thare wis nae evidence tae support thir claims an he wis eventually released. Australie offeecials acknawledgit that he "ken naething aboot terrorism".[2]

In November 2008, Habib released a beuk co-written wi Julia Collingwood teetled My Story: The Tale of a Terrorist Who Wasn't detailin his experiences.[3]

Life[eedit | eedit soorce]

He wis born in 3 Juin 1955 in Alexandria, Egyp, muivit tae Australie in 1980, became a ceetizen thare, marriet a wumman namit Maha, haed fower childer, an taucht Islam, while runnin a coffee shop in Sydney.[2] He is a dual ceetizen o Australie an o Egyp.[4][5]

Efter bein released athoot chairge he ran as an unthirlt poleetical candidate in New South Wales state election, 2007, but failed tae gain a seat efter pollin less nor 5% in his electorate.[6]

1990s[eedit | eedit soorce]

Accordin tae the ABC Current Affairs program Four Corners[7] the (Australian) Defence Housing Authority teuk oot an apprehendit violence order against him, claiming he made a threatenin phone caw follaein the unjustifeed cancellation o a contract Habib haed wi the organisation. Habib says the allegit phone caw wis naething mair nor an argument ower a contract. In court his psychiatrist testified that Habib wis sufferin frae major depression an wis bein treatit wi Prozac, but that he wis no prone tae violence. A witness statit at the trial; "He is irritable. He haes been preoccupeed wi a sense o howplessness about his futur. He haes become athdrawn an he haes been vera agitatit at hame an he haes been cryin excessively as well. There is nae evidence tae suggest that he is aggressive or aboot tae become aggressive or violent. He is no dangerous at this point."

Accordin tae the same programme, in early 2001 at a meetin wi polis, Habib wis describit as showin "signs o hostility towards govrenment organisations an the commonty generally". The Protective Services Group wis askit tae dae "a detailed threat assessment" o Mr Habib. The feenal conclusion wis that thare wis nae information tae support concerns that Habib micht cairy oot an act o violence. The polis decidit Habib wis "a repetitious an vexatious complainant" an that "little credibility coud be attributit tae ony threats or allegations he mey mak".

On 1 Mey 2009, Habib lost an appeal in the Full Federal Court against a 2007 Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) decision that affirmit the umwhile Foreign Affairs meenister's decision in 2006 tae refuse Mr Habib an Australie passport. Mr Habib haed appealed tae the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) against that decision. The AAT concludit that Mr Habib an his wife haed gien false evidence in the proceedins. The tribunal uised this conclusion tae fynd Mr Habib still held the same extremist sentiments that it wis acceptit he haed held afore 2001.

2001 tae 2005 impreesonment: Pakistan, Egyp, Afghanistan, Cuba[eedit | eedit soorce]

Habib traveled tae Pakistan in 2001, howpin tae find employment an releegious schuils for his childer.[2] He wis arrestit in Pakistan, deportit tae Egyp whaur he wis held for 5 month, transferred tae US militar custody, impreesoned in Afghanistan, then sent tae Camp X-ray, the Unitit States militar preeson camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.[7] His documents frae Guantanamo Bay war released bi Wikileaks: http://resources.news.com.au/files/2011/04/25/1226044/528311-mamdouh-habib-file.pdf Archived 2012-03-19 at the Wayback Machine

A Pentagon spokesman said that Habib wis a terrorist who spent his trip athort the mairch in Afghanistan, "either supportin hostile forces, or on the battlefield fechtin illegally against the U.S.".[2]

Arrest[eedit | eedit soorce]

Habib wis arrestit on 5 October 2001 while travelin bi bus tae Karachi, Pakistan. The bus wis stoppit bi local polis who arrestit Habib an twa Germans. The twa German ceetizens arrestit wi Habib wur released shortly thareefter.[7]

The Four Corners airin statit that, unner intense an lenthy interrogation, the twa Germans wur askit whether thay haed seen Habib, an whether he haed tauld them that he haed been in Afghanistan. Thay said naething that incriminatit Habib; ane repleed; "Nae. A didna see him in the camps A wis in. Nor did he tell us that he haed been in a trainin camp."

Australie govrenment authorities allege that Habib wis in Afghanistan, an that while thare he teuk an advancit al-Qaeda trainin course in a camp near Kabul. It is claimit that the course includit surveillance an photografin facilities, the establishment an uise o safe hooses, covert traivel an writin secret reports. Australie authorities say that several ither men who teuk pairt in the course identifeed Habib as haein been thare. Evidence tae support thir claims haes no been made public.[7]

In an interview wi the Australie ABC Habib refused tae confirm whether he haed been in Afghanistan, no acause he did no want tae answer, but acause he haed court hearins comin up.[8]

Tortur allegations[eedit | eedit soorce]

Habib alleges that he wis beaten an humiliatit in Pakistan efter his arrest. He alleges that an Australie offeecial wis present at some o thir interrogations an aw, but the Australie Govrenment haes denied this.[9] Habib claims tae hae been suspendit tae a ceilin bi his airms an aw, staundin atop a barrel drum, an that whan he gae an answer his Pakistani interrogators didna believe, thay wad jolt him wi electricity till he faintit.[2]

Habib wis then sent tae Egyp for five month.[10] His Egyptian captors allegitly shockit him wi heich-voltage wires, hung him frae metal heuks on waws, an beat him. An Egyptian offeecial statit that he coud no comment on thir specific allegations, but addit that accusations that the Egyptian govrenment wis torturin fowk "tend tae be meethologie". Housomeivver the claims hae been substantiatit bi Moazzam Begg an ither witnesses.

"They ootsource tortur," said Stephen Hopper, Habib's Australie lawyer.[11] "You get your friends an allees tae dae your dirty wirk for you." Habib housomeivver, haes said that some of his interrogators in Pakistan clearly haed American accents, an that ane haed a tattoo o an American banner attached tae a flagpole depictit as a middle finger.[2]

The umwhile coffee shop awner suin confessed tae a litany o terrorism-relatit creemes, includin teachin mairtial airts tae several o the 11 September hijackers an plannin a hijackin hissel. Habib later insistit that his confessions wur false an gien unner "duress an tortur."[10]

Habib wis then sent tae Guantanamo Bay for twa years whaur he alleges further abuis. He says that he wis tauld bi interrogators that his faimily haed been killed, an that he wis teed tae the grund while a prostitute menstruatit on him.[12] Australie Foreign Meenister Alexander Downer haes publicly challengit Habib's claims, sayin "nae evidence haes been foond tae pruive that tortur haes been uised at the camp.".

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation interviewed Christopher Tennant, the director o Sydney University's Psychological medicine unit.[13] In the interview Tennant said:

  • "He showed me marks on his back, he showed me cigarette burns on his body, and the subsequent examination by another professor of medicine, more expert in physical examination than me, confirmed that he's got skin discolouration on his right loin which would be consistent with old bruising, which in turn would be consistent with beating..."
  • "Well, the main feature of the medical report from Guantanamo was that he had had repeatedly blood in his urine, which is a very significant symptom and a worrying symptom, and that was consistent with his reports both to me and to the specialist physician who also examined him, and was consistent with the fact that, on examination, he had evidence of discolouration to his skin on his right loin, just over his kidney, which in turn was consistent with old bruising and possibly due to being beaten."

Mamdouh Ibrahim Ahmed Habib v. George Bush[eedit | eedit soorce]

A writ o habeas corpus, Mamdouh Ibrahim Ahmed Habib v. George Bush, wis submittit on Mamdouh Ibrahim Ahmed Habib's behauf.[14] In response, on 1 October 2004, the Department of Defense released 63 pages o unclassifeed documents relatit tae his Combatant Status Review Tribunal.

On 20 September 2004 his "enemy combatant" status wis confirmit bi Tribunal panel 6.

2005 on: release an post-release[eedit | eedit soorce]

On 11 Januar, the day afore his chairges wur scheduled tae be laid, Dana Priest at the Washington Post publisht a front-page story givin Habib's side o the story, an detailin his rendition an tortur. Later that day, the American govrenment annooncit thay wad no be chairgin Habib efter aw, an wad gree tae release him tae Australie.[2] Australian Attorney-General Phillip Ruddock annooncit that Habib wad be repatriatit athin days.

A special plane wis chairtered bi the Australie govrenment (for approximately $500,000) tae flee Habib hame acause the US wad no allou him tae traivel on an ordinar commercial flicht.[15] Habib wis released bi the US Militar an returned tae Australie on 28 Januar 2005. Wi Habib back hame, Australie offeecials hae revokit his passport, say he remains unner suspicion, an warn his activities will be constantly monitored tae ensur he daes no acome a security threat. He haes no been chairgit an remains relatively free. His records frae Guantanamo Bay indicate that he wis considered a relatively heich risk: http://resources.news.com.au/files/2011/04/25/1226044/528311-mamdouh-habib-file.pdf Archived 2012-03-19 at the Wayback Machine

The Australie govrenment wants tae prevent Habib bein peyed bi the media for interviews or "makkin profits frae committin a creeme" an aw even tho he haes no been convictit o ony creeme bi ony kintra (it is important tae note whilst anti-terrorism laws in Australie currently mak it illegal tae be involvit in terrorist organisations, Habib wis awready in custody when thir laws wur introducit an sae he canna be convictit unner them). The then Australie Prime Meenister, John Howard, ruled oot ony apologie tae Habib.

Habib tauld his faimily iverything that haed happened syne he left Sydney in Julie 2001. Juist in case something baed happens tae him, he said, "A want them tae ken fully iverything".

On 22 August 2005 Habib wis allegitly attackit bi three men wi a knife while walkin wi his wife near his hame in Guildford.[16]

He tauld polis that he wis follaeed bi a caur that cut its heidlichts as he an his wife, Maha, went for a walk juist efter midnicht, an that as the men ran awa the body hauldin the knife haed yelled "something like 'this shoud keep you quiet"'.

On 29 Mairch 2006, Habib an his son Moustafa said that thay witnessed the eftermath o a dooble murther in the Sydney suburb o Granville. When thay reportit the murder tae police, Habib alleges thay wur abuisit, assaultit an interrogatit bi polis officers. On 3 Aprile, he annooncit he intendit tae sue New South Wales Police for false impreesonment an assault.[17]

On 11 Juin 2007 the Australian Broadcasting Commission's (ABC) investigative journalism program Four Corners aired a documentar on extraordinar renditions, hintle o which focussed on Habib's case.[18]

On 7 Mairch 2008 Habib lost his defamation case against Nationwide News, publisher o The Daily Telegraph. Juistice Peter McClellan foond Habib wis "prone tae exaggerate", "evasive" an haed made claims aboot mistreatment in Pakistan an Egyp which coud no be sustained. He foond that "Habib's claims that he wis seriously mistreatit in the place o detention in Islamabad canna be acceptit" an "that this evidence wis given in order tae enhance his forensic position in the present litigation." His records frae Guantanamo Bay indicate that he wis frequently deceptive an aw. http://resources.news.com.au/files/2011/04/25/1226044/528311-mamdouh-habib-file.pdf Archived 2012-03-19 at the Wayback Machine Habib will appear in a ten minute play Waiting For Mamdouh, in which he will deliver monologues aboot his time in detention, at the Short+Sweet theatrical festival in Sydney in Februar 2010.[19][20]

In Dizember 2010, Habib reached an oot-o-court dounset wi the Australie govrenment. He receivit a secret sum in exchynge for absolvin the govrenment o liability in his tortur case. Habib nou plans tae uise the money tae begin an internaitional lawsuit against the Egyptian an Unitit States governments. Habib says he haes fresh evidence includin film fuitage.[21] His documents frae Guantanamo Bay wur released bi Wikileaks in Aprile 2011. Cite error: Invalid parameter in <ref> tag

Entrance intae Australie politics[eedit | eedit soorce]

In the Mairch 2007 New South Wales state election, Habib stuid as an unthirlt candidate in the safe Labor seat o Auburn in Sydney. He receivit less nor 5% o the vote[6] an the seat wis comfortably retained bi the Australie Labor Pairty.

He campaigned for the remuival o the Federal Govrenment's anti-terror laws, statin "The terror laws are if you have terrorists, but we don't have terrorists".[22] He is linkit tae the Socialist Alternative, an haes made speeches at Socialist Alternative events tae promote his beuk an raise awareness o the anti-terror laws in Australie.

Faimily members[eedit | eedit soorce]

Habib haes fower childer, includin twin sons Ahmed Mandouh Habib an Islam Hassam.

Bob Brown invitit Ahmed Habib tae pairlament tae attend George W. Bush 24 October 2003 speech tae pairlament. Ahmed wis escortit frae pairlament efter cawin oot "What about my father's rights?"[23]

See an aw[eedit | eedit soorce]

References[eedit | eedit soorce]

  1. OARDEC (15 Mey 2006). "List of Individuals Detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba from January 2002 through May 15, 2006" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. Retrieved 29 September 2007.
  2. a b c d e f g Mayer, Jane, "The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals", 2008. p. 125
  3. "Archived copy". Archived frae the original on 21 November 2008. Retrieved 22 Januar 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. http://inside.org.au/mamdouh-habib-who-knew-what-and-when/
  5. http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2005/s1377847.htm
  6. a b "State Electoral District of AUBURN: Summary of First Preference Votes Polled for Each Candidate". New South Wales Electoral Commission. 5 Mairch 2007. Archived frae the original on 30 August 2007. Retrieved 1 September 2007.
  7. a b c d ABC TV Four Corners Worst of the Worst? retrieved 29 April 2008
  8. ABC radio Sunday Profile Mamdouh Habib: Australia's Guantanamo Bay survivor retrieved 30 April 2008
  9. Australian official saw Habib tortured: report, Sydney Morning Herald, 6 January 2005
  10. a b Dana Priest; Dan Eggen (6 Januar 2005). "Terror Suspect Alleges Torture: Detainee Says U.S. Sent Him to Egypt Before Guantanamo". Washington Post. Retrieved 1 September 2007.
  11. "Documents reveal Habib torture allegations". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 6 Januar 2005. Archived frae the original on 6 Mairch 2005. Retrieved 1 September 2007.
  12. Fresh Guantanamo torture claims, BBC, 13 February 2005
  13. Habib was tortured, psychiatrist says, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 16 February 2005
  14. "Mamdouh Ibrahim Ahmed Habib v. George Bush" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. 1 October 2004. pp. 1–63. Retrieved 5 Mey 2008.
  15. US wants Habib shackled on flight, Sydney Morning Herald, 21 January 2005
  16. Men trailed and knifed me - Habib, Sydney Morning Herald, 24 August 2005
  17. Habib to sue NSW police, The Age, 3 April 2006
  18. "Four Corners: Ghost Prisoners". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 11 Juin 2007. Retrieved 1 September 2007.
  19. Break a leg, Mamdouh Habib, The Daily Telegraph, 11 December 2009
  20. "Archived copy". Archived frae the original on 27 Januar 2010. Retrieved 22 Januar 2013.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  21. Habib to sue US and Egypt over torture case: SMH 9 January 2011
  22. Littering's a nasty Habib, The Daily Telegraph (Australia), 3 February 2007
  23. Son shown door after asking about Habib, Sydney Morning Herald, 23 October 2003

Freemit airtins[eedit | eedit soorce]

Wikileaks release of Guantanamo Documents http://resources.news.com.au/files/2011/04/25/1226044/528311-mamdouh-habib-file.pdf Archived 2012-03-19 at the Wayback Machine mirror