Fresh air for prisoners at Guantanamo
Abdul Hamid al-Ghizzawi, a Libyan meteorologist currently designated an "enemy combatant" and imprisoned by the U.S. government at Guantanamo Bay, has mysteriously contracted AIDS inside the notorious compound. According to his lawyer Candace Gorman, Al-Ghizzawi had already previously contracted Tuberculosis inside the facility, and may have been initially infected with HIV from a botched blood test.
Gorman says she found out about the diagnosis from a letter her client sent her, but that military officials would neither confirm nor deny the diagnosis. Says Gorman on her blog: "The military claimed it did a complete physical when Al-Ghizzawi arrived and the ONLY condition he suffered from at that time was Hepatitis B. So I guess there is good reason why they don't want to confirm the diagnosis."
This is the second time Al-Ghizzawi has garnered attention in recent weeks. A piece in the Forward last month by Leonard Fein, claimed that there was significant evidence that Al-Ghizzawi was being tortured inside Guantanamo as well as being denied medical treatment for his TB and Hepatitis B.
Fein's piece goes on to suggest Al-Ghizzawi has no business being detained as an enemy combatant in the first place.
Al-Ghizzawi...has now been held in Guantanamo for more than five years. [He] has had hearings before two Combatant Status Review Tribunals.
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A November 2004 tribunal unanimously determined that there was no factual basis for concluding that he should be classified as an enemy combatant. Ordered to re-open its hearing, the tribunal came again to the same unanimous conclusion.
Shortly thereafter a second tribunal was formed and held a hearing in Washington, D.C. — without the knowledge of Al-Ghizzawi — and decided to find him to be an enemy combatant, this despite the fact that no new evidence was introduced.