Redha al-Najar was finally freed after surviving 700 days of CIA torture, 12 years imprisonment at Bagram, and more than six months detention in an Afghan prison.
Abduction and Disappearance
Redha al-Najar, a Tunisian citizen, lived a peaceful life with family in Karachi, Pakistan. In 2002, unknown Pakistani and French-speaking agents broke into Redha's home and and seized him in front of his wife and two-year-old child. Redha was then "disappeared"; his family had no idea where he was or whether he was even still alive. However, they believed that Redha had been rendered to a CIA black site, where detainees were denied all access to the outside world - including the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) - and subjected to brutal torture and unlawful interrogation methods.
Detention at Bagram
Several years after Redha's forced disappearance, his family learned that he was in the custody of the US Government, being imprisoned at the US Military's Bagram prison in Afghanistan. The US Military would not allow Redha's family to visit Bagram, and communication by mail and phone was extremely limited, with severe restrictions on what could be discussed. As soon as Redha's family learned that the International Justice Network (IJN) was advocating on behalf of Bagram detainees in US courts, they asked IJN for assistance in Redha's case.
Litigation in US Courts
IJN filed a habeas petition on Redha's behalf in 2008, arguing that Redha had the right to challenge his detention in US courts. However, no US court was willing to hear Redha's case, and he continued to languish at Bagram without charge or trial, access to lawyers, or any meaningful opportunity to challenge his detention. IJN took Redha's case all the way to the US Supreme Court, arguing that the highest court in the land should require the US Government to justify why it was continuing to detain Redha without charge for over a decade.
Transfer to Afghan Custody Upon Confirmation of CIA Torture
While Redha's case was still pending before the Supreme Court, the Senate Intelligence Committee was finalizing its report on the CIA's program of extraordinary rendition and torture. The Executive Summary of that report was released on December 9, 2014, and it included an entire section on Redha. The report confirmed that Redha was not only secretly rendered to CIA black sites, but was one of the first victims of the CIA's torture techniques. According to the report, Redha was tortured for 700 days while in CIA custody, and was subjected to a multitude of sadistic and humiliating indignities.
On the same day the Senate torture report was released, the US Government transferred Redha to the custody and control of the Afghan Government. IJN believes this was an attempt to wipe the US Government's hands of any responsibility for this victim of US-sanctioned torture. It can be no coincidence that Redha was suddenly transferred out of US Military control - after being held for 12 years without charge - on the same day the US Government's human rights violations against Redha were exposed.
Release After More Than 12 Years in Custody
The Afghan Government detained Redha for over six months - without charge or trial - before finally releasing him from custody and returning him to his home country of Tunisia. By the time Redha was finally freed, he had not only been tortured for nearly 700 days, but imprisoned without charge for over 12 years. After returning to Tunisia, Redha was reunited with his loving and supportive family.