Khartoum, (Sudanow) - The legal Director of the Khartoum based International Civil Aid Organization, Dr. Mustafa Osman Abdul Mukarrum, expects some good news to be announced about the Guantanamo detainee No. 054, Ibrahim Ahmed Mahamud Al-Qosi and those still in detention soon but gave no specific.
Legal Director of the International Civil Aid Organization
The International Civil Aid Organization (ICAO) told Sudanow that he has long been concerned with the Sudanese detainees in Guantanamo and has set out specific objectives and a plan of action "a considerable part of which has been achieved, thanks to God."
The organization was behind the many campaigns and public rallies as well as the legal actions that ended up with the release of the Sudanese detainees. The organization had focused on three issues: the social status of the families of the detainees, the legal one and the media campaign.
The ICAO was concerned with the social status of the families of the detainees, although there was no one at the time who knew anything about the families, not even the names of the detainees themselves, he said in an interview.
He explained that then second issue of the plan of action, the legal one, has gained much concern by the Organization for which it contacted the US embassy in Khartoum and established contacts with the US Administration through memoranda of protest and demonstrations the Organization staged to the US embassy. He added that the ICAO made contacts with lawyers to defend the Sudanese detainees.
"Those contacts with the lawyers have developed into joint efforts that included visits by those lawyers to the families of the detainees and verification of evidence that helped in the release of some of the detainees." Dr. Mustafa Osman said.
He explained that the third issue of the plan of action- the media campaign- was to make the Sudanese public opinion aware of the cause of the Sudanese detainees in Guantanamo. This was the first time the cause as brought in the spotlight, with the public opinion being informed of the proportions of the cause, the number of the detainees and the status of their families. This was the beginning of establishing a relationship between the media and families of the detainees; and this relationship was instrumental in creating a pressure that helped in reaching our goal of setting the detainees free.
"These three issues were connected with each other, each of them serving a specific objective; and with these complementary issues we have reached the goal of making the cause of the detainees a national one. This was reflected in the fact that the newspapers have made the cause a constant topic that is carried daily on the front pages, while some of them published inside-page coverage that included, inter alia, interviews with the families of the detainees." He added
Other ICAO media activities included coordination with the al-Jazeera satellite TV station and other TV channels which "put forth a considerable coverage of the cause, transforming it from a secondary to a primary issue."
He told the Sudanow that the media campaign brought the cause up to the attention of the President of the Republic and the National Assembly, persuading those high levels to sponsor the cause. The National Assembly, on request by ICAO, held a special meeting on the Guantanamo detainees. Speaker Ahmed Ibrahim al-Tahir read out at that meeting an ICAO memorandum, putting at nine the number of the Sudanese Guantanamo detainees. A parliamentary debate ensued.
The positive response and commendable gesture by the National Assembly made the ICAO efforts result in making the government officially authorize the Organization to sponsor the cause of the Sudanese detainees.
Speaking at a conference held by ICAO at the Friendship Hall on the issue of the detainees, a Presidential Advisor announced that the ICAO has been entrusted by the Sudanese government to exert every effort in pursuing the cause of the detainees.
This statement offered the ICAO a message saying that the detainees cause is a major issue because the government has shown its concern and has therefore trusted that the Organization would carry on with its efforts in this respect.
The Organization has thus gained confidence and its efforts has resulted in coordination that it is still maintaining with the US companies of lawyers companies in charge of the case of the Sudanese detainees.
"Only recently we received a message from the office of the American Advocate Susan who is in charge of (Sudanese detainee) Qosi on the sentence on the detainee. We have denounced this sentence of imprisonment because there were several instances of evidence against this sentence. Advocate Susan, however, stated that this was a preliminary verdict and that she expects good tidings would soon be announced, but it is unwise to break such good news at the present time. We just hope that Ibrahim Ahmed Mahamud Al-Qosi would be freed very soon." He stressed
Qosi is one of the Sudanese detainees still in prison. He was one of a few taken for trial.