Thursday, 18 July 2013

Sister of Yemeni Guantanamo Detainee Pleads with Obama

Mr President,please help me get my life back

By Nasser Arrabyee,

A sister of Yemeni detainee in Guantanamo pleaded with President Barack Obama for releasing her brother promising to keep him peaceful.

Ms Amina Rabeii is the only one  now who takes care for her old and sick mother after husband died more than one year ago.

The mother Safia keeps weeping all the  time when she finds herself alone in a house that used to be crowded with boys and girls and husband supporting all of them.

Mrs Safia, who suffers from many diseases including diabetes and pressure, is now living alone in a small and unfinished  house nearby the Sanaa international airport of Yemen.

Her daughter Amina lives not far away but always extremely busy with her own kids and her job.Amina teaches in a primary school and her salary goes for her mother and her own family. 

Amina, in her late 20s, is not only busy with old and sick mother, kids, husband and teaching, but also she  seems to be spending a lot of time following up cases of her two brothers who are in prisons only because of their brother Fawaz Rabeii who was killed in October 2006 by security forces as a leading terrorist.

 Fawaz along with 22 other terror suspects had escaped from intelligence prison by digging a tunnel  in February of the same year 2006.

Her brother Salman is in Guantanamo and brother Abu Bakr is in a maximum security prison in Sanaa for terror charges as well.

"I want at least one of my brothers be released to help my mother and help me, I am very tired," Amina said as she sits patting her mother's head and shoulder in their house last week.

"My father sent my brother Salman to bring Fawaz from Afghanistan and he was detained, and my brother Abu Bakr was put in prison here only because he is the brother of Fawaz," said Amina "Now Fawaz is dead, they killed him, what else they want,  why they didn't let his brothers go?"

Abu Bakr is about to finish his 10-year sentence, but she said that one of Yemeni security officials told her that Abu Bakr will not be released even after he finished  period.

Although Salman was put within a list of 26 detainees considered to be dangerous and should not be released from Guantanamo,Amina says she has hope that President Obama would cancel such a list and release them all especially her brother who has no time to do anything but to help his mother before she dies. 

Amina said her brother Salman, when released,would get married and find a job for supporting himself to please his mother before she dies.

She said he always expressed his repentance and remorse for not being with his  father and mother when they needed him.

"Mr President Obama,I would assure you that my brother Salman would not join any armed groups for fighting when he arrived home," said Amina in the appeal to Obama.

"Salman wants only to kiss feet of my mother to have her forgiveness,he wants to help me and my daughters, he always says in his letters he will put us in his eyes and in his heart," said Amina in her letter.

" How would such a nice and repentant man go to violence and be terrorist?," Amina wondered. 

"Mr President, my brother Salman was deprived from helping and seeing our sick father until he dies, now I plead with you as a father, to let  Salman see his sick mother before she dies," said Amina.

The mother wants to see Salman getting married and having kids before she dies. This is a will from the father Yahya who died out of injuries he developed while being arrested for investigations about his son Fawaz.

"For me, Mr President, I would say I am very tired taking all this responsibility alone,I feel I am lost,  I need my brother to help me get my life back," pleadingly Amina concluded her handwriting letter to Obama.

Salman is one of 88 Yemeni detainees out of  the total 166  remaining Guantanamo Bay. They spent about 12 years in this prison.

Some detainees have been on hunger strike since early this year to draw the attention of the world to their problem demanding release or fair trials.

And in Ibb province, the 12-year old Aisha has not seen her father Abdul Malik Abdul Wahab who has been languishing in this badly reputed detention since she was born. Aisha said her top wish is only to see and hug her father." I want to be like other girls who have fathers," said Aisha as she sings an emotional song about the   moment of her meeting her father for the first time.

And in the old city of Ibb, the old and sick mother of the detainee Saeed Hatem lives alone in the fifth floor of an old-fashioned house. When she was briefed last week by the American lawyer David Remes who represents her son and 14 other Yemenis. She was only saying " When my son is getting back?" Not listening to any other news. 

This question is always raised by families but it's always very difficult to answer by lawyers or human right activists. 

When she was told that the Congress is still refusing a decree by President Obama to close Guantanamo and send all detainees home including her son Saeed, she said," Don't Congress have kids!?". She thought that Congress was a man.

Then she started to pray to Allah to give the Congress kids and take them to Guantanamo as indefinite prisoners so that he ( The Congress) feel her feelings  about her son.