Aside from the strain of the uncertainty of his continued stay in Ghana and dealing with separation from his wife, Mahmud Umar Muhammad Bin Atef, one of the ex-Guantanamo Bay detainees being hosted by Ghana, is currently dealing with malaria.
A legal representative of Bin Atef, George Clark, revealed to Citi News’ Umaru Sanda that his client was down with the ailment, even as he processes the judgment from the supreme court declaring his stay in Ghana illegal.
“He is ill as well so it is double problem” George Clark said, as he also conveyed Bin Atef’s worry over the decision.
This notwithstanding, George Clark said he did not expect Bin Atef to be sent back to Yemen, which has been battered by civil strife since with the 2011–12 revolution against President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
More than 7,600 people are reported to have been killed and 42,000 injured since March 2015 alone.
“I am sure that he is worried about that. Repatriating him to Yemen would be contrary to international law because of the armed conflict in Yemen, so I don’t think that is going to happen,” the lawyer said.
The government continues to have a tight leash on Bin Atef, a situation George Clark also said was not the best for his client, who he said wants to be “able to work and be productive and things like that.”
The Yemeni has however been able to get married during his short stay in Ghana. Citi News has confirmed that his wife is named Haia, is also a Yemen national. They tied the knot about two and a half months ago, reportedly with close family in attendance.
This worry could be traced back to the decision of two Ghanaian citizens to sue the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, together with the Minister of Interior, accusing then-President John Mahama of illegally bringing in the two former Guantanamo Bay detainees, without recourse to the laws of the land.
Bin Atef, along with one other, Khalid Muhammad Salih Al-Dhuby, was under detention in US custody for 14 years after being linked with terrorist group Al-Qaeda.
They were brought to Ghana in January 2016 to live here for a period as part of Obama administration’s plan to close down Guantanamo Bay prison.
Their stay in Ghana has been extremely low profile, in sharp contrast to the protests that met their arrival, with many saying their presence in Ghana opened the country up to terror attacks.
Both the US and Ghana governments did their best to calm fears of terror attacks upon their arrival, and in their only noted media appearance till date, one of the ex-detainees, indicated their love for Black Stars captain Asamoah Gyan.
He revealed that other inmates in Guantanamo supported Ghana during the 2010 World Cup, where Gyan famously scored the winner in a knock-out tie against the US.
“Ghanaians are very good people. We are very excited to come to Ghana because we know some of the things about Ghana. First of all there is Asamoah Gyan, we know him, we like him very much, not just us, most of our people like him,” they said.
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(Via: CitiFM Online Ghana)