EXCLUSIVE: Former Guantánamo Prisoner Shamil Khaziev Detained in Holland

In news that has reached me exclusively via John Walls, an attorney at law in the town of Prinsenbeek, in the Netherlands, it transpires that a former Guantánamo prisoner, Shamil Khaziev, a Russian citizen, is imprisoned in Amsterdam, as the Dutch authorities try to strip him of his right to remain in the Netherlands. This was granted under the Geneva Convention in 2007, after he successfully sought asylum following his persecution in Russia.

A Tatar from Bashkortostan, north of Kazakhstan, and a former police lieutenant, Khaziev was seized in Afghanistan in November 2001, and survived a notorious US-led massacre at Qala-i-Janghi, a fortress used as a prison, which was precipitated by an uprising amongst a number of the prisoners, who feared that their captors meant to kill them. He was released from Guantánamo, where he was mistakenly identified as Almasm Rabilavich Sharipov, in February 2004, but sought and was granted asylum in Holland in 2007 after being persecuted by the authorities in his home country.

After being repatriated from Guantánamo, he was imprisoned in Russia until June 2004, and then, as as Human Rights Watch explained:

[He] returned to Uchali, a small town in the Russian republic of Bashkortostan, where his family lived. Human rights activist Alexandra Zernova, who met with Khazhiev on several occasions, said that he was repeatedly questioned by local FSB and UBOP officials after his return, and was briefly detained in Ufa, the Bashkortostan capital, in December 2004, on suspicion of membership in Hizb ut-Tahrir. He was released without charge. In September 2005, while riding on a train, he was questioned by UBOP officials from Samara. According to Zernova, Khazhiev has been unable to secure employment since his return from Guantánamo. He left Russia in March 2007. Read the rest of this entry »

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo, co-director, We Stand With Shaker. Also, singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers) and photographer (The State of London).
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