Gul Chaman is a citizen of Afghanistan, who was held in extrajudicial detention in the United States's Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba.[1] His Guantanamo Internment Serial Number was 1021. American intelligence analysts estimate he was born in 1973, in Osman, Hazro, Logar, Afghanistan.

Gul Chaman was captured in Afghanistan in April 2003 and was transferred to Afghanistan on December 12, 2007.[2]


The US Department of Defense was forced, by court order, to release the names of the captives taken in the "War on Terror" who were held in Guantanamo. On April 20, 2006 they released a list of 558 names, nationalities and ID numbers, of all the captives whose status as "enemy combatants" had been reviewed by a Combatant Status Review Tribunal.[3] Twenty-five days later they released a list of 759 names, nationalities, ID numbers, dates of birth, and places of birth, of all captives who had been held in military custody in Guantanamo.[1]

  • Captive 1021 was named Commander Chaman on the official list released on April 20, 2006.
  • Captive 1021 was named Gul Chaman on the official list released on May 15, 2006.

Combatant Status ReviewEdit

The Bush administration asserted that:
the protections of the Geneva Conventions did not extend to captured prisoners who are not members of the regular Afghan armed force nor meet the criteria for prisoner of war for voluntary forces.[4]

Critics argued the Conventions obliged the U.S. to conduct competent tribunals to determine the status of prisoners. Subsequently, the U.S. Department of Defense instituted Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRTs), to determine whether detainees met the new definition of an "enemy combatant".

"Enemy combatant" was defined by the U.S. Department of Defense as:

an individual who was part of, or supporting, the Taliban, or al-Qaeda forces, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners. This includes any person who commits a belligerent act or has directly supported hostilities in aid of enemy armed forces.[5]

The CSRTs are not bound by the rules of evidence that would normally apply in civilian court, and the government’s evidence is presumed to be “genuine and accurate.”[6] From July 2004 through March 2005, CSRTs were convened to determine whether each prisoner had been correctly classified as an "enemy combatant".

Gul Chaman was among the 60% of prisoners who chose to participate in tribunal hearings.[7] A Summary of Evidence memo was prepared for the tribunal of each detainee, listing the allegations that supported their detention as an "enemy combatant".

Gul Chaman's memo accused him of the following: </div>[8]

a. The detainee is associated with al Qaida, ihe Taliban and their associated forces:
  1. When captured, the detainee possessed current intimate knowledge of the logistical, financial and operational structure of at Qaida, the Taliban and their associated forces.
  2. The detainee attended a meeting of then current al Qaida, Taliban, and Hezb-i Islami Gulbuddin (HIG) operatives held in Peshewar, Pakistan.
  3. When captured, the detainee possessed current intimate knowledge of the HIG command inner circle. This knowledge includes its structure, membership, and hierarchy of influence.
  4. When captured, the detainee possessed knowledge of current HIG plans to attack U.S. Forces stationed in Afghanistan.
b. The detainee engaged in hostilities against the United States or it s coalition partners.
  1. The detainee collected intelligence to facilitate a planned attack on coalition interests in late 2002 and early 2003.

Witness requestsEdit

Main article: Witnesses requested by Guantanamo detainees

Chaman asked for seven witnesses. Three of them were fellow detainees: Hajji Naim Kuchai, Hajji Nazrat Khan, Akhtar Mohammed, and four off-Island witnesses, two of whom were Commander Sakhi, Hazrat Mujadidi. Attempts to reach the off-Island witnesses failed.

Opening statementEdit

Chaman said that the Russians [sic] had heavily bombed his district during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, creating many refugees. Seven different resistance groups formed to fight the Soviets. Chaman testified he joined a group which he called the Mujahidin Mohammed Nabi group, and said was named Rarakat-e-Islami.

After the ouster of the communists, around 1991, Mohammed Nabi dissolved Chaman's group, and sent everyone home. Chaman bought a clothing store, which he managed for three years.

Around 1994 Chaman said:

"I left to (sic) to Afghanistan and stayed for six months with Gulbudin Hikmatyar. At that time Gulbudin Hikmatyar, President Rabani, and Commander Massoud were in a big civil war against each other. Six month later, I left Gulbudin Hikmatyar and I went to Ahmad Shah Massoud. After a while they came and made peace together and met. Rabani had become our President and Gulbudin Hikmatyar became the Vice President."

Chaman said that he served this coalition until it was overthrown by the Taliban.

Chaman said that when the Taliban took power:

"Three days later they gathered ten of my friends and took them to a room much like this one. They lined them up and shot them from close range."

Chaman said that the Taliban announced that all his possessions and property were forfeit.

Chaman said that during the Taliban's time in power he continued to work, quietly, with Ahmad Shah Masood.

When the Taliban had been overthrown the Chief of Intelligence of the Afghan Transitional Authority asked him to come to Kabul to help find and identify Taliban commanders.

Chaman said he started buying and selling used cars, and scrap metal. He started working with an American reconstruction contractor. Chaman described meeting two other Afghans, named Yaqub and Mustafa, who worked for the American reconstruction firm.

These two men full under US suspicion, and that suspicion was transferred to him.

In Bagram Mustafa told him he had fallen under suspicion because it was believed he had stolen a computer from work. He was told that if he denounced someone else he would be set free. He told Chaman he chose to (falsely) denounce him, believing that because of his ties with the Americans he was safe from arrest.

Response to Tribunal questioningEdit

Administrative Review BoardEdit

Detainees whose Combatant Status Review Tribunal labeled them "enemy combatants" were scheduled for annual Administrative Review Board hearings. These hearings were designed to assess the threat a detainee may pose if released or transferred, and whether there are other factors that warrant his continued detention.[9]

Chaman chose to participate in his Administrative Review Board hearing.[10]

Enemy Combatant Election FormEdit

Gul Chaman's Assisting Military Officer notes from his Enemy Combatant Election Form record they met for ninety minutes on October 17, 2005. His Assisting Military Officer described his demeanor as "polite and cooperative". His copy of the Summary of Evidence memo had been translated into Pashto.

The following primary factors favor continued detention:Edit

a. Commitment
  1. While in the Badaber Refugee camp the detainee joined the Islamic religious party of Mulawe Mohammed Nabi.
  2. The detainee fought as a member of the Mulawe Mohammed Nabi party all through the Russian occupation [sic]. For the first few years of the fighting, the detainee was a simple soldier, but after a few years he became a commander of about 15 fighters.
  3. The detainee joined Hezbi Islami Gulbuddin [sic] for six months as a commander in the mid 1990s when Hezbi Islami Gulbuddin was fighting Ahmmad Shah Massoud [sic] and the Northern Alliance.
  4. The detainee is a Hezbi Gulbuddin [sic] field general.
b. Training
The detainee traveled with other men to the Trareensanqut area of Afghanistan near the Pakistan border and learned to shoot a bolt-action five shot rifle.
c. Connections/Associations
  1. The detainee was a personal friend of Heckmatyr Gulbuddin and last met with Gulbuddin in Kabul, Afghanistan when Gulguddin was Afghanistan's vice president.
  2. The detainee is the assistant of Kashmir Khan who is subordinate only to Gulbuddin Hekmatyr in the HIG.
  3. The detainee, Qalam, and Zardad are three Hezbi Islami Gulbuddin [sic] members that worked as intelligence collectors with direct communication with Hekmatyr.
  4. The detainee, Almas, Qalam, and Salangi are all well known associates [sic] that are heavily involved in the drug trade and other illegal activities in Kabul. A source stated that Commander Almas is responsible for over 1,000 murders as a Hezbi Islami Gulbuddin leader.
  5. The Chief of Police in Kabul, AF has strong ties with weapons and drug smuggling activities. The detainee and Qalam are major players in these operations.
  6. In the beginning of 1991 the detainee was accepted into the Northern Alliance and instructed to remain in Hezbi Islami Gulbuddin [sic] and remain in Surubay in order to report Hezbi Islami Gulbuddin [sic] activities, movements and operations.
  7. The detainee was given money in exchange for information on Hekmatyr.
  8. The detainee attended a meeting between member of al Qaida, Taliban and the Hezbi Islami Gulbuddin [sic] in Peshawar, Pakistan.
  9. The detainee visited Mayor Mast Gul in Muzaferabad, PK on numerous occasions.
d. Other Relevant Data
  1. The detainee, Qalam, and Zardad were operating in Kabul and collecting information about the Afghan government and possibly the United States foces.
  2. The detainee, Qalam, and Zardad set up checkpoints on the main road between Jalalabad and Kabul. At the checkpoints they would stop and search cars, steal items of merchandise they wanted and demand money from the drivers. If the drivers did not have money or refused to pay they were beaten. One of the checkpoints was called "Chaman Hotel" because it was near a hotel owned by the detainee.
  3. The detainee and Qalam were given explosives along with instructions for placing them along a route on 16 February 2003 by an important Hezbi Islami Gulbuddin member. They planned to organize the attacks on vehicles used by foreigners on the road from Kabul to Jalalabad, Afghanistan.
  4. The detainee worked as an intelligence informant for the Afghanistan Information Ministry. The detainee was offered a job collecting information due to his personal relationships with Hezbi Islami Gulbuddin and Taliban commanders.
  5. While employed with the Information Ministry, the detainee was tasked with collecting information about Hezbi Islami Gulbuddin commanders in various Afghanistan districts.
  6. A three-month campaign was fought against the Taliban/al Qaida forces in the Shaheekut, Gardiz [sic] area of Afghanistan during the spring of 2002. The detainee commanded a unit of approximately 40 soldiers and held the rank of Brigade [sic] General.
  7. The detainee claims to have earned a famous reputation from experience gained fighting in the Soviet/Afghanistan jihad. He boasted 20 total years of experience, 12 years against the Soviets, five years against the Taliban and one year against the Hezbi Islami Gulbuddin.
  8. The detainee was hired by an American contractor through a sub-contractor (Esko) to guard shipments of equipment on a route between Herat and Kabul.
  9. In December 2002 and American contractor corporation employee provided the detainee with a list of named Afghan security element personnel. The list included weapon serial numbers.
  10. The detainee intended to place a bomb at Camp Serenity at Pol-e-Charkhi during the upcoming grand opening ceremony for the radio network station at Camp Serenity. The main target for this attack was President Karzai, United States Ambassador to Afghanistan and other high-ranking Afghani officials.

The following primary factors favor release or transfer:Edit

The detainee is thankful the United States went to Afghanistan because different tribes and Arabs had taken over the country. He hopes the United States stays long enough to stop the tribal wars.


On November 25, 2008 the Department of Defense published a list of when Guantanamo captives were repatriated.[11] According to that list he was repatriated on December 12, 2007.

The Center for Constitutional Rights reports that all of the Afghans repatriated to Afghanistan from April 2007 were sent to Afghan custody in the American built and supervised wing of the Pul-e-Charkhi prison near Kabul.[12]


  1. 1.0 1.1 "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. 2006-05-15. Retrieved 2006-05-15. 
  2. ' [1] The New York Times
  3. list of prisoners (.pdf), US Department of Defense, April 20, 2006
  4. Q&A: What next for Guantanamo prisoners? [2] 2002-01-21 mirror
  5. "Guatanamo Detainee Processes," United States Department of Defense, updated October 2, 2007, accessed February 23, 2010
  6. Detainees at Guantanamo Bay: Report for Congress [3] July 20, 2005
  7. OARDEC, Index to Transcripts of Detainee Testimony and Documents Submitted by Detainees at Combatant Status Review Tribunals Held at Guantanamo Between July 2004 and March 2005, September 4, 2007
  8. Summarized transcripts (.pdf), from Gul Chaman's Combatant Status Review Tribunal - pages 24-37
  9. "Annual Administrative Review Boards for Enemy Combatants Held at Guantanamo Attributable to Senior Defense Officials". March 6, 2007. Retrieved November 12, 2010. 
  10. Summarized transcript (.pdf), from Gul Chaman's Administrative Review Board hearing - pages 1-12
  11. Consolidated chronological listing of GTMO detainees released, transferred or deceased [4] OARDEC 2008-10-09
  12. International Travel [5] mirror