U.S. Releases Guantánamo’s Oldest Prisoner

by -31 Views

But Uzair Paracha’s conviction was overturned in 2018. Then in 2020, prosecutors dropped the case against him. He was returned to Pakistan after agreeing to relinquish his status as a permanent resident of the United States.

The elder Mr. Paracha, who is fluent in English, had lived in Queens in the 1970s, obtained a green card in 1980, and operated businesses in Pakistan and the New York metropolitan region, including travel agencies, a real estate business and a media production firm.

At Guantánamo, inmates and some guards called him “chacha,” a term of endearment that means uncle in Urdu. When the prison leadership allowed, he tutored younger prisoners in English and finance. At times he brought cellblock complaints to the guards.

Soon after his transfer to Guantánamo in 2004, Mr. Paracha went before a panel of American military officers that approved his status as an “enemy combatant,” a form of war prisoner. He denied having ties to Al Qaeda, described himself as a businessman with a Jewish partner and challenged the notion that the United States could declare the world a battlefield against the terrorist group.

“Is your executive order applicable around the earth?” he asked the U.S. military officer in charge, according to a Pentagon transcript.

“It is a global war on terrorism,” the officer explained.

Mr. Paracha replied, “I know, sir, but you are not the master of the earth, sir.”

His wife, whom he met and married in the United States, divorced him while he was in custody. He was expected to live with his youngest son, Mustafa, who said in an interview last year that the first order of business would be a family reunion, followed by comprehensive medical care.

Salman Masood contributed reporting from Islamabad, Pakistan.

Sumber: www.nytimes.com

No More Posts Available.

No more pages to load.