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“I’m trying to write a poem for you.”

18 May

Shaikh Salman bin Ibrahim Al KhalifaAbdullah Al NoaimiThis is a poem I have written about my brother and friend Salman al Khalifa at the Guantanamo prison, after a long separation between us. The Americans were keen on keeping us apart. Four months later, he sent verbal greetings with the brothers, in which he said,

May peace, God’s Mercy and Blessings be upon you. I miss you a great deal and I’m trying to write a poem for you.

I felt guilty about this. Will he write a poem for me when he is no poet, while I, who claim to be a poet, have written nothing for him?” Abdullah Al Noaimi (ISN 159, Bahrain) Released November 2005; Rearrested 2008

Update:

Three years after his return from Guantánamo, al-Noaimi was working as an electrician, and was married with two children, but on October 29, 2008, as he made his way along the King Fahad Causeway, which joins Bahrain to Saudi Arabia, he was seized at a Saudi checkpoint and appears to have been detained ever since. An article in Gulf Daily News stated that it was “understood his name was included on a list of nearly 1,000 Al-Qaida suspects accused of carrying out ‘acts of war’ against Saudi Arabia,” but, as Nabeel Rajab, the president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR), explained, al-Noaimi (described as al-Nuaimi) “had not been allowed to hire a lawyer or see any of his family,” and “had no idea of the charges against him, violating numerous articles in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

He said, “While we fully respect and appreciate our brothers in Saudi Arabia, we do not accept any of our citizens to be arrested in this arbitrary manner, which violates the simplest international norms. Today, there are international standards and charters that should be respected as part of every country’s role in the international community.”

No explanation appears to have been provided by the Saudi authorities. 16 April, 2013 members of the Bahraini parliament protested by walking out of session and complaining that the Foreign Affairs Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa and the Bahraini governemnt had not done enough to demand the realease of Abdullah Al Noaimi and fellow Bahraini and former Guantanamo detainee, Abdulraheem Ali Al Murbati.

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Posted by on May 18, 2013 in Campaigns, Flashback

 

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