US Attorney H. Candace Gorman has revealed that her client Abdul Hamid Al-Ghizzawi has been infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). Al Ghizzawi believes the infection happened during medical procedures at Guantanamo in 2004 when he was given a blood test which resulted in alarm amongst the hospital staff. Al Ghizzawi was not given any explanation for the alarm at the time. As a result Al-Ghizzawi has now been told that he is suffering from Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Having already been suffering from Hepatitis B and Tuberculosis (which he also acquired at Guantanamo) Al Ghizzawi has been held in severe isolation in Camp 6.
Gorman filed an emergency application with the US Supreme Court asking that the US military be ordered to treat Al-Ghizzawi’s medical problems and for medical records to be turned over to her. Chief Judge Roberts denied the motion despite it being stated by the chief medical doctor at Guantanamo, Dr Sollock, that Al-Ghizzawi did not suffer from any ill health on arrival to the base.
Al-Ghizzawi’s health has rapidly deteriorated and Cageprisoners calls for the immediate release of his medical records so that adequate medical treatment can be given to the detainee. Spokesman for Cageprisoners and former Guantanamo detainee, Moazzam Begg said,
“That a man who has endured more than half a decade in the world’s most infamous prison — without charge or trial — is now infected with the world’s most dreaded disease is preposterous. How will the US administration explain this one to his family? More ‘robust interrogation techniques’?”
With Al-Ghizzawi’s condition as it is, Candace Gorman made the following plea,
“Al-Ghizzawi is an innocent civilian turned over to the Americans in response to a bounty (cash American dollars for Arabs). Al-Ghizzawi has been taken from his wife and young daughter and he will die if he is not given immediate medical care, and yet the American military cannot be bothered… I ask that all of you please contact the American state department and ask them to release this innocent and very ill man.”
A double heart-attack of Saifullah Paracha, the death of an Afghan detainee due to cancer and the deaths of four other detainees in Guantanamo all highlight the serious medical difficulties of those being detained. The US administration must put pressure on the public to give full medical treatment to those under its control. However, the medical situation only reiterates the more pressing concern that these men must either be charged for crimes under a system that is recognised to be fair and open, or must be released expeditiously.
Cageprisoners is a human rights organisation that exists to raise awareness of the plight of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay and other detainees held as part of the War on Terror. We aim to give a voice to the voiceless.