Airat Vakhitov

Airat Vakhitov

Abdumuqit Vohidov
Citizenship Tajikistan
Detained at Guantanamo
ISN 90
Charge(s) extrajudicial detention

Abdumuqit Vohidov is a citizen of Tajikistan who was held in extrajudicial detention in the United States Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba.[1] His Guantanamo Internment Serial Number was 90. Vohidov transferred to Tajikistan on February 28, 2007.[2]

Imprisoned by the Taliban

Vohidov was one of nine former Taliban prisoners the Associated Press pointed out had gone from Taliban custody to American custody.[3] The Taliban had accused Vohidov of spying for Russia, and imprisoned him for nearly three years. In Kandahar Airfield, he complained to Cpt. Danner that he had been housed in a more humane prison by the Taliban, where he had been given a radio, fresh fruit and proper toilet facilities.[4]

Trial in Tajikistan

Vohidov and Rukniddin Sharipov were to stand trial in Tajikistan.[1] They were charged with

Abdumuqit Vohidov and Rukhiddin Sharopov received sentences of 17 years on August 18, 2007.[5] The two men were convicted of serving as mercenaries.

Carol Rosenberg, writing in the Miami Herald, on July 7, 2009, reported that Umar Abdulayev, the sole remaining Tajikistani, reported that a delegation of Tajikistani security officials threatened to retaliate against him Sharipov and Vohidov, unless they agreed to pretend to be militant jihadists, and report on real militant jihadists, following their repatriations.[6]

McClatchy interview

On June 15, 2008 the McClatchy News Service published articles based on interviews with 66 former Guantanamo captives. McClatchy reporters interviewed Airat Vakhitov by telephone.[7] Vohidov told his interviewers he was suffering ongoing mental problems, and that he was worried that if interviewers visited him in person he would be punished by Russian security officials.

Vohidov was an imam in Tatarstan, who was imprisoned following a general round-up when Russian officials were cracking down on Chechens.[7] He was temporarily freed, and fled Russia when he learned that security officials were looking for him. He said he was kidnapped by the forces of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, and eventually transported to Afghanistan, against his will.

Role in the 2012 elections

Bridget McCormack, a candidate for a seat on the Michigan Supreme Court helped defend Vohitov, and in 2012 the "Judicial Crisis Network broadcast an attack ad against her, criticizing her for "freeing a terrorist".[8] Andrew Rosenthal, of the New York Times said the ad "shamelessly exploits the tragedy of the death of a young soldier in Afghanistan". The ad contained footage of Teri Johnson, the mother of Joseph Johnson, a GI who was killed in Afghanistan, who says:

“My son is a hero and fought to protect us. ... Bridget McCormack volunteered to help free a terrorist. How could you?”[8]

Rosenthal pointed out that Vohitov was freed through the non-judicial review, through the Office for the Administrative Review of Detained Enemy Combatants in 2007.[8] He also questioned whether Vohitov was a "terrorist".

See also

References

External links

  • Activists, Lawyers Urge Tajiks To Release Ex-Guantanamo Detainees
  • HRW: Ex prisoners of Guantanamo have right to clemency
  • HRW: Calls for Review of Punitive Sentences for Ex-Guantánamo Tajiks Andy Worthington