Abu Zubaydah

Help defend prisoners like Abu Zubaydah. Donate Now.  

Abu Zubaydah is currently detained in Guantánamo Bay. He was falsely suspected of being a high-value member of al Qaeda and the organisation’s Chief of Operations, and has been held in secret prisons around the world since 2002. He has never been charged with a crime. During his confinement he was brutally tortured both physically and psychologically.

Abu Zubaydah was seized in Pakistan in March 2002. Initially regarded as the first “high value detainee”, he became the guinea pig for the “enhanced interrogation techniques” then being developed by the CIA. US government and other documents have shown that he was chained to a chair for weeks, forced into cramped boxes, smashed into the wall, kept awake for 11 consecutive days, and waterboarded 83 times in one month. Abu Zubaydah was a ghost prisoner – his itinerary of incommunicado detention between 2002 and 2006 included Thailand, Poland, Guantánamo Bay, Morocco and Lithuania.

In September 2006 he was transferred back to Guantánamo Bay. The US government has not charged Abu Zubaydah with any crime, and no longer asserts that he was a member of al Qaeda. Nonetheless he remains in indefinite detention. In August 2014, in response to a case filed by Reprieve and Abu Zubaydah’s legal team, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Poland had knowingly facilitated Abu Zubaydah’s secret detention and torture in 2002-3. A second case on his behalf, against Lithuania, is in progress. The intensity and frequency of Mr Zubaydah’s torture make it vital that the sites of his abuse are exposed, if only to prevent it from happening again.

Help defend prisoners like Abu Zubaydah. Donate Now.

Press Releases