London – On 15 August 2023, Muhammad Rahim appeared in front of a Parole Board Review at Guantanamo Bay, once again seeking his release after being held for 16 years without charge or trial.
Rahim was abducted in Pakistan in 2007 and was sent to a number of CIA black sites where he would be tortured. In 2008, the US confirmed he was being held at Guantanamo Bay. It would later be revealed that CIA head Michael Hayden had requested Rahim be tortured, a request that was signed off by President Bush. Rahim, the second-to-last Afghan in the prison, was also the last prisoner in the CIA’s torture programme before it was shut down.
In the 16 years he has been held at Guantanamo Bay prison, Rahim’s health has worsened. In 2017, the prison’s Joint Task Force carried out a medical examination and discovered a number of ‘nodules’ in his lung, liver, kidney and rib that could potentially be cancerous .
Muhammad Rahim said in a statement to the Parole Board Review:
“As a 57-year old man in poor health, I am confident the United States does not fear that I would return to a battlefield that no longer exists.”
“What would I do if eventually released? I would pursue my love for cooking and hope to open a small booth or food truck. We don’t have much here, but it is wonderful what one can accomplish with a microwave and a passion for food. Sharing food is an experience that brings people together, no matter where they are from”
Lawyer Jay Connell, who represents Muhammad Rahim, told the Parole Board Review:
“It has been my privilege to eat food prepared by many of the men in Camp 7 and now Camp 5. I can tell you that Rahim is the best cook among a field of good cooks. Working with limited equipment and supplies, Rahim prepares a wonderful array of dishes drawing on a range of cuisines. His spinach curry is the best anywhere. After release, if Rahim has a food truck or a restaurant, I can tell you that I will be the first in line”
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