Khirullah Said Wali Khairkhwa


Khirullah Said Wali Khairkhwa

Khirullah Said Wali Khairkhwa is an Afghan held in extrajudicial detention in the United States Guantanamo Bay detainment camps, in Cuba. [http://www.dod.mil/news/May2006/d20060515%20List.pdf list of prisoners (.pdf)] , "US Department of Defense", May 15 2006] His detainee ID number is 579.American intelligence analysts estimate that Khairkhwa was born in 1967, in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

Identity

Two Afghans were held in Guantanamo who intelligence analysts believed were Khirullah Khairkhwa.

In the winter of 2003, about fifteen months after Khairkhwa's capture an Afghan of Uzbek descent, named Abdullah Khan was captured based on a denunciation. [http://www.defenselink.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt/Set_52_3643-3869.pdf#14 Summarized transcripts (.pdf)] , from Abdullah Khan's "Combatant Status Review Tribunal" - pages 14-20] The Afghan who denounced him claimed that Abdullah Khan was actually Khirullah Khairkhwa. Khan was also transported to Guantanamo.

Khan told his own Combatant Status Review Tribunal that, until very shortly before his Tribunal convened, his interrogators kept insisting that he was lying about his identity, and that he was really Khirullah Khairkhwa. [http://www.defenselink.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt/Set_52_3643-3869.pdf#14 Summarized transcripts (.pdf)] , from Abdullah Khan's "Combatant Status Review Tribunal" - pages 14-20] Khan told his Tribunal that when other detainees told him that the real Khirullah Khairkhwa was already in another compound in Guantanamo, and had been there for more than a year he started to plead with his interrogators to check the prison roster, so they could see, for themselves, that he was not the real Khirullah Khairkhwa.

Khan noted that the accusation that he was really Khirullah Khairkhwa was dropped from the allegations assembled to present to his Tribunal, and were replaced with a totally new set of allegations, which he had never been interrogated about. The new allegations said he was a spy-master code-named "Khirullah". [http://www.defenselink.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt/Set_52_3643-3869.pdf#14 Summarized transcripts (.pdf)] , from Abdullah Khan's "Combatant Status Review Tribunal" - pages 14-20]

Khairkhwa's Police career

After Afghan fighters, with aid and support from the CIA, ousted communists from control of Afghanistan, Afghanistan went through a four-year period of civil war. The nominal Afghan administrations really only controlled the capital Kabul, and its surrounding area. The leaders of the local militias that fought the Soviets, and their local puppet regime were the defacto rulers of their local areas. During his Tribunal Khairkhwa testified that after fighting against the Soviet occupiers he was rewarded with a position as a Police officer in Kabul. [http://www.defenselink.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt/Set_44_2922-3064.pdf#67 Summarized transcripts (.pdf)] , from Khirullah Said Wali Khairkhwa's "Combatant Status Review Tribunal" - pages 67-73] According to the Washington Post Khairkhwa served as Kabul's chief of police after its capture by the Taliban in 1996. [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/04/20/AR2006042000200.html Pentagon Identifies More Gitmo Detainees] , Washington Post, April 20 2006] He also served as interior minister and the governor of Herat province.

American detention in Kandahar

Fazal Mohammad, detained on suspicion a former Taliban commander, was released from American custody for medical reasons in mid-2002.cite news
publisher=Australian Broadcasting Corporation
url=http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200207/s633602.htm
date= July 28, 2002
title=Taliban prisoner claims sex abuse in Afghan jail
accessdate=2007-07-03
]
*He reported that he had been held in American custody in Kandahar with about 300 other captives, including Maulawi Khirullah Khairkhwa, and Khairkhwa's former boss, the Taliban's last foreign minister, Wakil Ahmed Mutawakil.
*He reported that they were fed starvation rations, and their wounds were left untreated.
*He reported that captives were subjected to sexual abuse, and attacks from dogs.

Combatant Status Review Tribunal

Initially the Bush administration asserted that they could withhold all the protections of the Geneva Conventions to captives from the war on terror. This policy was challenged before the Judicial branch. Critics argued that the USA could not evade its obligation to conduct a competent tribunals to determine whether captives are, or are not, entitled to the protections of prisoner of war status.

Subsequently the Department of Defense instituted the Combatant Status Review Tribunals. The Tribunals, however, were not authorized to determine whether the captives were "lawful combatants" -- rather they were merely empowered to make a recommendation as to whether the captive had previously been correctly determined to match the Bush administration's definition of an enemy combatant.

Khairkhwa chose to participate in his Combatant Status Review Tribunal. [http://www.defenselink.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt/Set_44_2922-3064.pdf#67 Summarized transcripts (.pdf)] , from Khirullah Said Wali Khairkhwa's "Combatant Status Review Tribunal" - pages 67-73]

Allegations

#"Detainee was appointed the Taliban spokesperson for the BBC and Voice of America.
#"Detainee was appointed the governor of Herat Providence "sic" in Afghanistan from 1999 to 2001. Detainee worked for Mullah Omar while serving as governor. The detainee had control over police and military functions in Herat to include administration of the Taliban’s two largest divisions. Detainee was required to route all decisions through Mullah Omar.
#"Detainee was present at a clandestine meeting in October 2001 between Taliban and Iranian officials in which Iran pledged to assist the Taliban in their war with the United States.

Khairkhwa's statement

Khairkhwa denied having any anti-American sentiments.

Khairkhwa acknowledged working with the Taliban and serving as the spokesman for the BBC and the VOA. He thought it was the best choice he had available to him.

He assured his Tribunal that while he was governor of Herat he did his best to govern in the way that would be best for the people at large. He said he did not know Mullah Omar at all prior to his appointment, and he didn’t get to know him during his administration.

He assured his Tribunal that, as governor, the military was not his responsibility.

He acknowledged being present during a meeting between Taliban and Iranian officials. But he said his role was help provide security for the meeting, not to share in the negotiation.

Khairkhwa's Q & A

In answer to questioning Khairkhwa stated:
*He started serving as the spokesman to the BBC and VOA when the Taliban took over Kandahar.
*He explained how he came to be arrested in Pakistan in detail. After the fall of the Taliban he had a phone conversation with Hamid Karzai, the new President. He was offered an amnesty provided he went through a three day debriefing with American authorities. He said he agreed, but he wasn’t feeling well, so he crossed the border to Pakistan to purchase medicine. He was only in Pakistan a single night, before he was apprehended by Pakistani authorities.
*He said he had no knowledge of Al Qaeda before he became governor of Herat. He knew that Osama bin Laden was in Afghanistan, but that was it. When he was appointed Governor, the previous governor had some Arab associates.
*He said he never expected to be appointed governor. Nor was he consulted before his appointment. He claims he learned of his appointment over the radio.
*He reiterated that as governor he had no responsibility for, or authority over any military forces. But he was responsible for the Police.

witness

Khairkhwa served as a witness during Abdul Rahim Muslimdost's CSRT. [http://www.defenselink.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt/Set_17_1447-1462.pdf Summarized transcripts (.pdf)] , from Abdul Rahim Muslimdost's "Combatant Status Review Tribunal" - pages 1-16] One of the allegations against Muslimdost was that he worked for the Governor of Herat. And Khairkhwa, who had been the Governor of Herat, confirmed that the two of them had first met in Guantanamo.

Muslimdost, and his brother, were both determined to have never been enemy combatants in the first place, and were released, following their Combatant Status Review Tribunals. [http://projects.washingtonpost.com/guantanamo/nlec/ Guantanamo Bay Detainees Classifed as "No Longer Enemy Combatants"] , "Washington Post"]

Administrative Review Board hearings

Detainees who were determined to have been properly classified as "enemy combatants" were scheduled to have their dossier reviewed at annual Administrative Review Board hearings. The Administrative Review Boards weren't authorized to review whether a detainee qualified for POW status, and they weren't authorized to review whether a detainee should have been classified as an "enemy combatant".

They were authorized to consider whether a detainee should continue to be detained by the United States, because they continued to pose a threat -- or whether they could safely be repatriated to the custody of their home country, or whether they could be set free.

First annual Administrative Review Board hearing

A Summary of Evidence memo prepared for his Administrative Review Board.cite web
url=http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt_arb/ARB_Round_1_Decision_memos_000484-000582.pdf
title=Unclassified Summary of Evidence for Administrative Review Board in the case of Khairkhwa, Khirullah Said Wali
publisher=United States Department of Defense
author=OARDEC
date=October 7 2005
pages=pages 38-41
accessdate=2007-10-07
format=PDF
]

The following primary factors favor continued detention:

-|
-
:d.
| "'Intent
-|
-
|
:The detainee has encouraged other detainees to cause problems, including making noise, not eating, killing themselves, not showering, and pushing the door during a search.
-|
-
:e.
| "'Detainee Actions and Statements
-|
-
|

The following primary factors favor release or transfer:

Transcript

There is no record that Khirullah Said Wali Khairkhwa chose to participate in his first annual Administrative Review Board hearing.

econd annual Administrative Review Board hearing

A Summary of Evidence memo prepared for his Administrative Review Board.cite web
url=http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt_arb/ARB_Round_2_Factors_599-699.pdf#83
title=Unclassified Summary of Evidence for Administrative Review Board in the case of Khairkhwa, Khirullah Said Wali
publisher=United States Department of Defense
author=OARDEC
date=June 16 2006
pages=pages 83-85
accessdate=2007-10-07
]

Transcript

Khirullah Said Wali Khairkhwa chose to participate in his second annual Administrative Review Board hearing. cite web
url=http://www.dod.mil/pubs/foi/detainees/csrt_arb/ARB_Transcript_2397-2490.pdf#34
title=Summary of Administrative Review Board Proceedings for ISN 579
author=OARDEC
publisher=United Stated Department of Defense
month=June | year=2006
pages=pages 34-44
accessdate=2007-10-07
]

References


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