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Anwar Khan is a citizen of Afghanistan who was held in extrajudicial detention in the United States Guantanamo Bay detainment camps, in Cuba.[1] His Guantanamo Internment Serial Number was 948.[2] The Department of Defense estimates he is born 1967, and states he is from Konar, Afghanistan.

Anwar Khan arrived in Guantanamo on March 23, 2003, and was repatriated to Afghan custory on Oct. 11, 2006.[3][4][5]

Combatant Status Review TribunalEdit

File:Trailer where CSR Tribunals were held.jpg

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.

Khan chose to participate in his Combatant Status Review Tribunal.[9]

witness requestEdit

Khan requested a witness named Mohammed Sadik. The Tribunal's President made the decision that Sadik's testimony would be relevant "on or about" October 27, 2004. The US Department of State contacted the Afghan embassy in Washington, requesting their cooperation in taking Sadik's testimony. About a month later, since the Afghan government didn't reply, the Tribunal's president ruled Sadik's testimony was not reasonably available.


Khan's Personal Representative paraphrased the allegations, rather than reading them out verbatim.

  1. " were directed to carry Taliban weapons from Afghanistan to Pakistan."
  2. " assisted the Taliban by helping to transport, stock pile, and hide Taliban weapon cashes [sic]."
  3. " were captured by Afghan Military Forces at a check point just prior to entering Pakistan because you had several identification cards."

testimony in response to the allegationsEdit

Khan denied being involved with the Taliban. He denied carrying weapons for the Taliban. He denied aiding the Taliban to make weapons caches.

Khan acknowledged being stopped at the checkpoint with several identification cards—his own card, and two cards belonging to his wives. Khan said he had moved to Pakistan at the time of his capture.

testimony in response to questions from the Tribunal's officersEdit

  • Khan confirmed he had no association with the Taliban whatsoever.
  • Khan confirmed he was not carrying any weapons when he was captured.
  • Khan said he worked as a security guard in a bazaar in Pakistan.
  • There were three occupants in the car Khan was traveling with when he was captured. Khan and Mohammed Sadik were taken to Bagram. Khan did not know what happened to Sadik after they arrived in Bagram. But he thought Sadik could have testified that he was captured solely for carrying three ID cards.
  • Khan said he wasn't armed with a gun when he worked as a security guard—he was only armed with a baton.

Administrative Review Board hearingEdit

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.

Khan chose to participate in his Administrative Review Board hearing.[10] Khan met with his Assisting Military Officer on November 25, 2005 for 40 minutes. His ARB hearing convened on November 28, 2005. His Assisting Military Officer described him as "very cooperative, attentive, and cordial throughout the interview. He reported that Khan requested a copy of the translated Pashto Unclassified Summary of Evidence.

Factors that favor continued detentionEdit

  • The detainee said that he was a security guard in Punjab, Pakistan during the winter. He returned to the village of Shomasht, Afghanistan during the summer months.
  • The detainee was asked about the documents he was captured with such as the oath, the various ID cards, and the note with the description of a British man. The detainee stated he did not know about those documents.
  • The detainee had an old friend who was the district leader in the Noorgal District.
  • The detainee's old friend, formerly Taliban and now against them, wanted the detainee and two others to take one handgun, two rifles and machine guns across the border from Afghanistan into Pakistan. There were to get these weapons from the commander in Jalalabad.
  • The old friend is a Taliban supporter and has arranged for at least 50 Taliban fighters who are hiding in the mountains near Shomasht to visit the town once a week.
  • The detainee had another friend who lived in Mazar [sic], in the Noorgal District.
  • The detainee claims that prior to his capture, he had delivered two machine guns to this other friend in Afghanistan.
  • The detainee told the Bagram guards that his old friend and the other friend, the detainee's uncle and his father all belonged to the Taliban.
  • The other friend was last known to be a Taliban commander.
  • The detainee's name appears in a phonebook recovered from a Mansour [sic] compound in Zormat, Afghanistan.
  • The detainee's name appears in a notebook found in the possession of an Afghan suspected of arms dealing and ties with the Taliban. The detainee is listed as being associated with the Office of Director of Logistics.
  • The detainee wore an all black uniform for his job and carried a pistol. He claimed not to know anything about his pistol other than its size.
  • The detainee later said he did not carry a weapon while working as a security guard and only carried a police stick.
  • The detainee said the reason he possessed many ID cards when he was arrested was for his job as a security officer.
  • The security ID card was [sic] a picture of him in his security uniform and the epaulets were put on the uniform so that the ID would appear to be a Government ID.
  • The detainee states it's a standard watchman ID card. The only thing he had different in his picture were the decorations. There decorations were borrowed from a friend of his who was a police chief in Pakistan.
  • One of the ID cards the detainee was captured with was a Pakistani police ID card. The detainee has denied any affiliations to Pakistani police.

Comments reflecting information in favor of releasing detaineeEdit

Khan's transcript contains a paragraph, in the middle of the list of factors, that reads:

When the Designated Military Officer read "Comments reflecting information in favor of releasing detainee", the detainee had the following comment:
Detainee: I do not want to be released. I'm not going to go home if I'm released because I am innocent. They beat me naked and that's an insult. I would like to know the truth. (Translator says and what kind of truth that is, I do not know.
  • When asked what he thought about the Taliban, the detainee stated he has never supported the Taliban. They are not good people. He thinks Americans are good, because they have opened schools and provided shelter for Afghans. The Taliban has not done this for the people.
  • The detainee blames the Taliban for the death of his brother.
  • The detainee also stated numerous times that he was just a poor farmer.

Testimony in response to the factors favoring continued detentionEdit

  • Khan denied any knowledge of the oath or the description of a British man he was alleged to have had in his possession when captured. He acknowledged having some phone numbers in his possession. He was carrying four ID cards: his Pakistani ID card; a photo-id card from his job as a watchman; and Pakistani ID cards for two of his three wives.
  • Khan confirmed that he was friends with Said Jalal, the Noorgal District's current district manager.
  • Khan denied ever cooperating with the Taliban.
  • Khan acknowledged having friends in Mazar [sic].
  • Khan acknowledged having owned two Kalashnikovs and a pistol, which he had used when he and his brother were anti-Taliban fighters, which he had turned in to Gulan, an anti-Taliban commander.
  • Khan denied the allegation that he had friends or relatives who were members of the Taliban.
  • Khan replied to the allegation that his name appeared in a phonebook in Zormat by saying that Zormat was very far away from his district and his village. He said the only phonebook he would have been listed in would have been a Pakistani one, because it was the only place he had phone service.
  • Khan acknowledged that he wore an all-black uniform for his job as a watchman, and that his photo-id for his job showed him wearing it. He acknowledged that he had embellished his uniform, for the picture, by borrowing some paraphernalia from his friend the chief of police. He was friends with the local Pakistani police because when he and his colleagues caught thieves they turned them over to the local police.
  • Khan acknowledged that when he and other guards went around to the shopkeepers to collect the nightly receipts he was armed with a pistol while the other guards were armed with batons.
  • Khan denied carrying any ID cards that he was not authorized to carry. In particular he denied carrying a Pakistani police card.

Khan's statementEdit

Khan repeated that he was and remained opposed to the Taliban.

Khan repeated that he was and remained for the American forces. He stated he would not be a danger to the Americans.

Khan repeated that when he carried weapons it was when he and his brother were opposing the Taliban.

Anti-Taliban leaders Khan was associated withEdit

Khan mentioned the names of the leaders of anti-Taliban militia he had been associated with. These included:

  • His own brother. When his brother had died he had retired from fighting the Taliban.
  • Said Jalal, currently the district commander of his district, Noorgal district.
  • Gulan, the leader to whom he had surrendered his weapons when he retired from fighting the Taliban.
  • Haji Karnal
  • Esmail
  • The Supreme Commander of his group was Hazrat Ali.

Abuse Khan went through in custodyEdit

In addition to being beaten, when naked, that Khan had mentioned earlier, Khan's statemnent described the following abuse at Guantanamo:

"They stopped me and told me they had five questions and then brought me to Bagram and in Bagram they punish me a lot and now I am here. It's up to you if you believe me or not, but they were unjust when they brought me here and they have to pay me back for that. The doctors beat me up and they did not give me medicine. They put me in mental facilities for people who are completely crazy for ten months and then injected me with some medicine that was not good. It damaged my mental status, when I told them that I could not see or read they did not give me glasses."

Khan's offerEdit

Khan concluded his statement by repeating his assurance that he was not a danger to the United States, and offered to broadcast over that fact over the radio, so everyone could hear it.

Testimony in response to the Board's officers questionsEdit

Khan had moved to Pakistan, to look for work, approximately twenty years earlier, when he was a teenager. He had crossed back into Afghanistan approximately once a year, until the Taliban came to power. He returned to Afghanistan in the fall of 2001 to join in the fight to overthrow the Taliban. His brother was killed fighting the Taliban in Tora Bora

Khan was arrested by American forces.

Khan was told that the sole reason the American troops arrested him was their questions over his multiple ID cards. When Khan told this to his Board one of his Board members interjected: "You were arrested by United States Forces and sent to Guantanamo for having an ID card?"

Khan said that when he arrived in Bagram he was confronted by false allegations, such as that his father was a Talib, that his uncle was a Talib.

Khan said that, while in Bagram: "I helped them identify a couple of bad guys."

When asked how he would characterize his behavior in Cuba Khan responded:

"What do you expect from me? They put me with the Taliban and they are my enemies; I am a nice guy, but they are bad to me. If they are bad to me than I have to be even worse to them. When they take me to interrogations the Taliban and the other detainees call me a spy, they say I am helping the Americans and I am an infidel.

When asked what he would do if he were released Khan said:

"I will do the same day labor or be a bodyguard or whatever there is to do. I am not going to go back to Pakistan. I am going to be a farmer."

Khan said he hated the Taliban because:

"The Taliban told us to give them our weapons and live like women. We didn't like that."

Khan explained that he acquired a Pakistani ID card because he said he was from the North Western Frontier Province.


In November 2007, an unrelated British man also called Anwar Khan began legal proceedings against his employer, an insurance company, after colleagues joked that he was the Guantanamo detainee.[11]


  1. OARDEC (May 15, 2006). "List of Individuals Detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba from January 2002 through May 15, 2006". United States Department of Defense. Retrieved 2007-09-29. 
  2. OARDEC (2006-04-20). "List of detainee who went through complete CSRT process" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. Retrieved 2007-09-29. 
  3. "Measurements of Heights and Weights of Individuals Detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (ordered and consolidated version)". Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas, from DoD data. Archived from the original on 2009-12-21. 
  4. Consolidated chronological listing of GTMO detainees released, transferred or deceased [1] OARDEC 2008-10-09
  5. Guantanamo Docket: Anwar Khan [2] 2008-11
  6. Guantánamo Prisoners Getting Their Day, but Hardly in Court, New York Times, November 11, 2004 - mirror
  7. Inside the Guantánamo Bay hearings: Barbarian "Justice" dispensed by KGB-style "military tribunals", Financial Times, December 11, 2004
  8. "Annual Administrative Review Boards for Enemy Combatants Held at Guantanamo Attributable to Senior Defense Officials". United States Department of Defense. March 6, 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-22. 
  9. Summarized transcripts (.pdf), from Anwar Khan's Combatant Status Review Tribunal - pages 29-35
  10. OARDEC (2005-11-28). "Summary of Administrative Review Board Proceedings for ISN 948". United States Department of Defense. pp. 311–321. Retrieved 2010-05-12. "I was and I am against the Taliban. I was and I am for the American forces. I was not and will not be a danger to the Americans. The weapons I had were for a group of people in the Noorgal government, Gulan, Said Jalal and Haji Kornai . I gave them back these weapons. These three commanders are supporting the American Forces and they are working with them in Jalalabad"  fast mirror
  11. City high-flyer sues firm over 'Guantanamo detainee' jibes [3] Robert Verlak 2007-11-07

External linksEdit