SUBJECT: URGENT intervention to free Ravil Mingazov
Dear Ms Kaidanow
I am writing to you as a concerned citizen who has been made aware of Ravil Mingazov’s case. He is a Russian Tartar citizen who was held unlawfully in US custody in Bagram and Guantanamo for 15 years where he faced torture and abuse.
Despite the lengthy time he spent in Guantanamo Bay, he was never charged with a crime and was never designated for trial. When he was set to be released from Guantanamo Bay, he was given the option of returning to Russia which he had to refuse based on the risk of harm and persecution he would face upon returning there. He had heard about other Guantanamo Bay prisoners who returned to Russia who were subjected to abuse, arbitrary detention and one was even killed extrajudicially by the Russian security services. In 2017 Ravil was transferred to the UAE with an understanding that he would be resettled there and be able to rebuild his life.
This unfortunately didnt happen, and Ravil’s arbitrary detention and torture has only increased and he has been in solitary confinement in the UAE for over 6 years. He has been denied legal representation and has had limited contact to his family, they have only seen him once in the last 3 years. Ravil’s son, Yusuf, does not remember meeting his father as he was so young when he was taken from him, and has only managed short phone calls of a few minutes during his detention in the UAE.
Of the 23 former Guantanamo prisoners sent to the UAE, Ravil is the only one who remains in custody and he must be freed immediately. Many who have been freed have described the conditions within prisons in the UAE as far worse than Guantanamo, one Afghan who was detained there for 4 years said “I’ve faced many prisons, but the worst was our stay in the UAE.”
The US are responsible for the conditions Ravil is facing currently, and he has suffered 6 years in breach of non-refoulement in the UAE and faces further risk of torture and abuse as they are trying to send him back to Russia. As a state that has been accused of war crimes in Ukraine, the notion that Ravil could be sent there with tacit approval by the US government would result in Ravil’s detention and further abuse.
The UN recently suggested that the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo is a ‘crime against humanity’. Ravil’s ongoing imprisonment is a clear continuation of that crime. As the senior representative of Guantanamo Affairs and overseeing detainee transfers, I am requesting your urgent intervention in Ravil’s case, to ensure he is relocated to a state where he will be free and safe and will be able to reunite with his son, who is a UK citizen and resident.
I hope to hear from you regarding this.
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