Adnan Latif travelled to Pakistan from his home in Yemen in late 2001 seeking affordable medical treatment. The 26-year-old had been experiencing neurological problems brought on by head injuries suffered in a car accident.
In December, Latif was caught up in a dragnet of young Arab men undertaken by bounty hunters in the aftermath of 9/11. In exchange for a reward, he was turned over to U.S. authorities in 2002 and transferred to the newly opened Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp. While there, Latif was subjected to repeated and prolonged torture, beatings, psychological abuse, and extreme deprivation. With other prisoners he participated in an extended hunger strike, during which inmates were painfully force-fed, and he attempted suicide on numerous occasions.
Latif was held for almost 11 years without charge. According to documents, military tribunals had concluded multiple times that he posed no threat and that there was no evidence to justify his continuing incarceration. He was cleared for release by officials as early as 2004 and again in 2007. A further court ruling in 2010 ordered the administration to “take all necessary and appropriate diplomatic steps to facilitate Latif’s release.”
On each occasion his release was denied, first by the Bush administration, and later by the Obama administration. In September of 2012, Latif was found dead in his cell, the ninth prisoner to die at Guantánamo. An autopsy was performed, but its results are classified. A year later his body was returned to Yemen, to his wife and his now 14-year-old son.
Forty-one prisoners remain at Guantánamo today. President Trump has pledged to add to its population, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions has called it “a very fine place.”