December 8, 2008, New York, NY- In May, 2002, Mr. Redha Al-Najar, a Tunisian citizen residing in Pakistan, was taken in his Karachi home in front of his wife and young two-year-old son. To date, both Pakistani and and U.S. Officials have denied knowledge of his disappearance and subsequent whereabouts. Today, in Federal Court in Washington DC, seven years after his disappearance, the International Justice Network (IJNetwork), together with Mr. Al-Najar's brother, Houcine Al-Najar and Stanford Law School filed habeas corpus petition Al-Najar v. Bush on behalf of Mr. Redha Al-Najar.
- Following his arrest, Redha al-Najar was “disappeared” for approximately one and a half years. His family and friends were never informed of his whereabouts or well-being.
- At the behest of the CIA, Redha was held in one or more of the secret prisons run by the United States Government. In these so-called “black sites”, detainees are denied all access to the outside world, including access to the ICRC, and are subjected to illegal interrogation techniques.
- As a "ghost prisoner", Redha was likely tortured extensively, before eventually resurfacing in U.S. military custody at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. It is there that Mr. Al-Najar became known as "Redha the Tunisian"
- It was not until 2003 via a letter in Redha’s handwriting via the International Committee of the Red Cross (“ICRC”) that Redha's family learned that Redha was in the custody of U.S. military forces at Bagram.
- United States officials have interrogated Redha repeatedly, although he has never been charged with a specific offense, nor has he ever been notified of any pending or contemplated charges. He has made no appearance before either a military or civilian tribunal of any sort, nor has he been provided counsel or the means to contact counsel.
Attorneys for Redha believe the US government has informed him that they no longer wish to detain him and may release him into the custody of the Tunisian government. However, if released into Tunisian custody, Mr. Al-Najar, who was living in Pakistan for over two decades prior to his arrest, faces immediate jeopardy from the Tunisian government. His transfer to Tunisian custody would most certainly place him in immediate danger of further abuse and torture. With the exception of a few letters and one phone call, no contact has been made between Mr. Al-Najar and his family. His son, who is now nine years old, has not had direct contact with his father since he was two years old.
"As the Obama Administration develops plans for the closure of Guantanamo, we should not forget those who continue to suffer its legacy. Mr. Redha Al-Najar and countless other men like him deserve to have access to lawyers and fair hearing after nearly seven years of secret illegal detention and torture in US custody. Closing Guantanamo will do nothing more than transfer the problem somewhere else, unless President Obama has a plan for ending torture, rendition, and extra-legal detention of individuals at prisons like Bagram," said Tina Foster, Executive Director of the International Justice Network.