Saifullah is a 67 year old businessman and father of four children. He studied at the New York Institute of Technology where he met his wife, Farhat, and became a permanent US resident.
He was abducted in Thailand while on a business trip and interrogated at Bagram Airbase for more than a year before being taken to Guantánamo Bay. He has been held there for over a decade without charge, and denied the medical care he needs. Saifullah has suffered three heart attacks during his detention.
Despite being in his late sixties and in poor health, Saifullah has been classed as an “enemy combatant” and is being held in indefinite detention. He has severe and life-threatening health problems but his American captors refuse to provide appropriate treatment.
He has had three heart attacks during his decade in detention. He has an enlarged prostate, latent tuberculosis, coronary heart disease, and is diabetic. He has requested transfer to a medical facility but the US authorities have refused. Instead, he is held in a cell measuring nine feet by six under the constant glare of neon lights.The Guantánamo doctors have recommended he have a cardiac catheterization and possibly open heart surgery.
“I believe in the Koran – that killing one innocent person is equal to killing all humanity. I believe in that, and practice that.”
Born in Pakistan in 1947, Saifullah moved to the US to study when he was 24. He met his wife, started a family and worked in real estate in New York for 15 years. In the mid-1980s he moved back to Pakistan where he founded several businesses including exporting clothes and textiles to the US and starting a television production company. He travelled a lot for work and was abducted in Bangkok when he was on his way to a business meeting.
The US accuses him of being a high value member of Al-Qaeda and using his business to facilitate terrorism, yet he has never been charged with a crime. His family had no idea where he was until his arrest was reported in the media a month after he had disappeared.
Reprieve is calling for Saifullah’s release and safe return to his family.