Amanatullah was imprisoned at Bagram for nearly a decade before being returned to his home country.
Abduction and Disappearance
Amanatullah is a Pakistani citizen who lived with his family in a peaceful village near Faisalabad, Pakistan. He was the sole source of financial support for his wife and five young children, and worked as a rice merchant. Beginning in 2003, he started exporting rice to Iran. In February 2004, Amanatullah left to take one of his regular business trips to Iran, but never returned home. His family was terrified by his disappearance, and searched desperately for him, not knowing where he was or if he was even alive. They continued to search for him for the next ten months.
Detention at Bagram
In 2005, Amanatullah's family received a letter from Amanatullah, delivered by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). It was the first confirmation that Amanatullah was alive and being detained in the US Military's Bagram prison in Afghanistan. While it is still unknown where Amanatullah was initially seized, and by whom, it is known that British forces took custody of Amanatullah in Iraq, and then illegally rendered him to US Military custody in Afghanistan. The ICRC delivered several more letters to Amanatullah's family over the years, and also facilitated periodic phone calls with Amanatullah, although they were always monitored and heavily censored. The Bagram prison staff prohibited Amanatullah from discussing the details of his imprisonment at Bagram with his family.
The US Military continued to hold Amanatullah without charge or trial, access to lawyers, or any meaningful opportunity to challenge his detention. Every request Amanatullah made to speak with legal counsel - by phone, mail, or physical visit - was denied.
An Anguished Family
Following Amanatullah's forced disappearance, his entire family lived in a constant state of emotional suffering, not to mention extreme financial hardship. Amanatullah's wife and children were entirely dependent on relatives to provide for their basic needs. Amanatullah's father was particularly affected by his son's abduction, and his mental and physical health sharply deteriorated as a result. Doctors attribute this deterioration to his severe emotional distress over his son's abduction, disappearance, and indefinite detention without charge.
Amanatullah's family asked the International Justice Network (IJN) for assistance in freeing Amanatullah, and IJN filed a habeas petition on his behalf in February 2010. For the next four years, IJN and co-counsel argued vigorously for US courts to hear Amanatullah's case, which they repeatedly declined to do. In August 2014, IJN took Amanatullah's case to the US Supreme Court. A month later, and after 12 years of imprisonment without charge at Bagram, the US Military transferred Amanatullah to the custody and control of the Pakistani Government. After being detained in Pakistan for approximately one month, he was released and reunited with his family.