Thursday, January 31, 2008

Andy Worthington on Al-Ghizzawi

Click on title for full story....

It really doesn’t get any worse than this.
Candace Gorman, lawyer for Abdul Hamid al-Ghizzawi, a Libyan detainee at Guantánamo, reports that her client has been infected with AIDS. Mr. al-Ghizzawi explained to his lawyer in a letter that he was told about his infection by a doctor at Guantánamo, adding that he believes that the infection took place in 2004, when he was given a blood test, which “resulted in alarm amongst the hospital staff,” although he was not given any explanation for the alarm at the time.
The hospital at Guantánamo, where, Mr. al-Ghizzawi said, “the guards that would bring him to the clinic often sat and read his medical file and … would toss the file around for others to read while he sat there.”
On January 28, Candace Gorman filed an emergency motion with the US Supreme Court, asking for the US military to provide urgent medical treatment to Mr. al-Ghizzawi, and also asking for access to her client’s medical records. Yesterday morning, however, Chief Justice John Roberts denied the motion.
While this news is so alarming that it almost defies description, Mr. al-Ghizzawi’s plight is compounded by the fact that he already suffers from tuberculosis, which he also contracted in Guantánamo, and hepatitis B, which was dormant before his arrival at the prison.
In an affidavit filed with the US District Court in September 2006, Dr. Ronald Sollock, the Chief Medical Doctor at Guantánamo, confirmed that Mr. al-Ghizzawi “was subjected to complete medical tests by the military upon his arrival in Guantánamo in 2002,” and that he “entered [the prison] in good health,” although he admitted that “a history of hepatitis B was identified in tests performed in August 2002” (even though Mr. al-Ghizzawi was never informed of this fact), and that he “was exposed to tuberculosis while at the base.”Dr. Sollock also claimed that Mr. al-Ghizzawi “does not want to be treated for his life threatening illness[es],” although this is strenuously denied by Mr. al-Ghizzawi himself, who insists that he has never been informed about his health problems, and has never been offered any kind of medical treatment whatsoever.