Statement by Mr. Al Ghizzawi's Lawyer
The following is a statement made by H. Candace Gorman, Esq. to the UCDavis Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas (CSHRA) on September 11, 2007. Ms. Gorman is Mr. Al-Ghizzawi's lawyer. The statement was requested by CSHRA.
I met with Mr. Al-Ghizzawi on July 10th 2007. During this visit we met at Camp Iguana. Camp Iguana is a strange camp as the meeting rooms are furnished with overstuffed furniture, a couch, two chairs and a table. The room is huge but except for these pieces of furniture in the center of the room, barren. Mr. Al-Ghizzawi was sitting in one of the over-stuffed chairs, his foot shackled to the floor. He looked smaller, his face was drawn and his hair and beard were trimmed. I was surprised at how he looked as his face looked very drawn and skin even more yellow than I remembered. I immediately asked him how he was doing. He told me he was upset because the guards did not tell him that he was meeting with me and he did not have his legal papers. He then told me that his health was much worse and that he had difficulty even walking short distances. He asked me if I knew anything about the Saudi man who died (about two months earlier).1 I told him I did not. He then told me that the Saudi man had Hepatitis B and TB "just like me and he too was not being treated." Mr. Al-Ghizzawi told me that the man was very sickly and run down, had been on the hunger strike earlier but had stopped because his health was so poor. Mr. Al-Ghizzawi shook his head sadly and said "we will all be judged in the end, Bush too." Unfortunately the man who died had no attorney so we know very little about his circumstance.
In the official military records, Mr. Al-Ghizzawi is listed as ABDEL HAMID IBN ABDUSSALEM IBN MIFTAH AL GHAZZAWI. I have always used that full name in the court documents that I filed (except that I spell the last name Ghizzawi which is how it is pronounced). Several visits ago, as I was sitting and going over legal documents with Mr. AL-Ghizzawi, he pointed to the name I had on the court document and said “this part of the name is not my name”. I was confused and asked him what he meant and he told me that the part of his name “IBN ABDUSSALEM IBN MIFTAH” was actually the name of a detainee in an adjoining cell when he first arrived. After the man left (we do not know where he went and Mr. Al-Ghizzawi has never seen him again) that man’s name was added to Mr. Al-Ghizzawi’s name, and despite the fact that Mr. Al-Ghizzawi has repeatedly told the military that it was not his name it remains on the official documents to this day.
1. The prisoner was ABDUL RAHMAN MA ATH THAFIR AL AMRI. To read the 31 May 2007 news release regarding his death by "apparent suicide," click here.