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Martin Mubanga is a joint citizen of both the United Kingdom and Zambia. He was held, without charge, and interrogated at the American prison at Guantanamo Bay for 33 months.[2]

Martin Mubanga
Martin Mubanga profile.png
Mubanga in 2005 after his release
CitizenshipUnited Kingdom, Zambian
Detained atGuantánamo
Charge(s)No charge, held in extrajudicial detention

In 1995, he spent six months in Bosnia working for a charity.[citation needed]

In January 2005, when American authorities transferred him to UK custody, after a brief interrogation British officials determined there were no grounds to charge Mubanga with any crimes, and he was released.[citation needed] The Bush administration routinely described the Guantanamo detainees as having been unlawful combatants, who were captured on the battlefield.[citation needed] Mubanga, however, was the victim of an extraordinary rendition from Zambia, without having an opportunity to challenge his capture or rendition.[citation needed] Under the Royal Prerogative, the United Kingdom government has declined to issue a new passport to Mubanga and three other of the nine freed British Guantanamo detainees.[citation needed]


Combatant Status ReviewEdit

George W. Bush administration asserted they could withhold the protections of the Geneva Conventions from captives in the "War on Terror."[3] Critics argued the Conventions obliged the United States to conduct competent tribunals to determine the status of prisoners. Subsequently, the US Department of Defense instituted Combatant Status Review Tribunals, to determine whether the captives met the new definition of an "enemy combatant."

The CSRTs are not bound by the rules of evidence that would apply in court, and the government's evidence is presumed to be "genuine and accurate."[4]

The trailer where CSRTs were convened.

From July 2004 through March 2005, a CSRT was convened to make a determination whether each captive had been correctly classified as an "enemy combatant". Martin Mubanga was among the two-thirds of prisoners who chose to participate in their tribunals.[5]

A Summary of Evidence memo was prepared for the tribunal, listing the alleged facts that led to his detention.[6]

Complaints against the USEdit

Mubanga has described being the subject of brutal and abusive treatment during his incarceration and interrogation while in US custody.[citation needed]

Mubanga was living with relatives, in Zambia, when he was arrested by Zambian Police, accompanied by US security officials.[citation needed] He was not charged with any crime in Zambia.[citation needed] He was transported out of Zambia without the US requesting an official extradition.[citation needed] His transport is one of the well-known uses of the technique known in the US as extraordinary rendition.

Mubanga describes being shackled so long he lost control of his bladder, and then being daubed with his own urine.[citation needed]

Mubanga says the most difficult part of his incarceration was being told that he was going to be transported back to the UK, only to be told that transfer was cancelled, and having his cell stripped of everything, including even his clothes and bedding, for a further incarceration of several more months.[citation needed]

Complaints against the UKEdit

Mubanga says that when he was first arrested, in Zambia, he was interrogated by a British man who claimed he was an "MI6 official," and an American woman who told him she was a "Defence official". They told him that his UK passport, which he had reported stolen, was found in an al-Qaeda cave in Afghanistan.[citation needed] They invited him to be an undercover agent, to penetrate al Qaeda for them. When he declined, they shipped him to the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay.[citation needed]

With the help of UK lawyer Louise Christian, Mubanga sued the UK government for its cooperation with American security officials.[7] The government settled with 16 British citizens in 2010.[citation needed]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ list of prisoners (.pdf) Archived 2006-05-26 at the Wayback Machine, US Department of Defense, April 20, 2006
  2. ^ OARDEC (2006-05-15). "List of Individuals Detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba from January 2002 through May 15, 2006" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-09-29.
  3. ^ "Q&A: What next for Guantanamo prisoners?". BBC News. 2002-01-21. Archived from the original on 2008-11-23. Retrieved 2008-11-24.
  4. ^ Elsea, Jennifer K. (July 20, 2005). "Detainees at Guantanamo Bay: Report for Congress" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2007-10-31. Retrieved 2007-11-10.
  5. ^ OARDEC, Index to Transcripts of Detainee Testimony and Documents Submitted by Detainees at Combatant Status Review Tribunals Held at Guantanamo Between July 2004 and March 2005 Archived 2007-12-03 at the Wayback Machine, September 4, 2007
  6. ^ Summarized transcripts (.pdf), from Martin Mubanga's Combatant Status Review Tribunal - pages 1-4
  7. ^ Guantanamo man 'suing government' Archived 2005-09-20 at the Wayback Machine, BBC, February 6, 2005

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