Kazakh (citizen) Appears Before Gitmo Tribunal

by Nathan Hamm on 1/5/2005 · 3 comments

A Kazakh citizen of Uighur extraction appeared before the review tribunal at Guantanamo. From the AP:

A prisoner with alleged links to Afghanistan’s ousted Taliban regime and an accused gold smuggler for al-Qaida appeared before a review tribunal Tuesday at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base.

Wearing a black skull cap and speaking through a Russian interpreter, the 24-year-old alleged Taliban supporter from the former Soviet republic of Kazakhstan said he traveled to Afghanistan to study, and was there for five days before he was taken captive.

The man said he went to Pakistan to find a religious school and then while on break went to Afghanistan, where he was captured by Afghan forces in August 2001 and turned over to the U.S. military in December.

The U.S. government says he stayed in a house in Afghanistan with two others who worked as cooks for the Taliban, an allegation he denied during questioning by the three-member tribunal.

There are 22 Uighurs held at Guantanamo, most of whom are from China. The AP reports that the State Department is seeking a third country to accept the Uighurs if they are released.


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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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{ 3 comments }

Dawit January 5, 2005 at 4:12 pm

It might be helpful if you kept Kazakh, and Kazakhstani seperate… I was at first very confused, and still am a little.

Nathan January 5, 2005 at 4:29 pm

I’m between a rock and a hard place on this one. Unfortunately, I’m not even sure which is which. Is Kazakh the term for the nationality and Kazakhstani the term for the citizenship?

Our damned civic nationalism makes this tricky! Unless I’m nuts, I would assume most of my readers would see the terms as more or less interchangeable.

What I wrote seems pretty clear to me. I can see how the title might be a little misleading.

Dawit January 5, 2005 at 8:35 pm

Thanks for clarifying that for me! I’ve lived among both the Kazakh’s of China and Mongolia, and so to me the Kazakh’s are a people, kind of like the Uighurs. When I first saw your article I was a bit worried that a Kazakh (from nationality) had been caught, and when I read your article I thought maybe a Uighur who was a citizen of Kazakhstan, and so the confusion…

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