Iraqi Detainee Reported Suffering Paralysis at Guantánamo

GUANTÁNAMO BAY, Cuba — A Marine Corps choose has ordered the medical employees at the wartime jail to submit an emergency report Friday on an Iraqi prisoner who in line with his lawyer abruptly suffered paralysis and misplaced the power to stroll.

The prisoner, Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi, 60, was found to have misplaced all feeling in his legs Wednesday night.

He has degenerative disc illness, and is among the many most bodily disabled of the 39 detainees at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. He has undergone a collection of backbone surgical procedures in recent times by Navy medical groups who had been airlifted to the distant base.

“He no longer has use of his legs,” his lawyer, Susan Hensler, mentioned on Friday. “He cannot walk even with a walker.”

Mr. Hadi, who says his true title is Nashwan al Tamir, is accused of commanding Qaeda and Taliban forces in Afghanistan that dedicated struggle crimes in opposition to U.S. and allied forces round 2002-2004. He may very well be imprisoned for all times if he’s convicted.

He was captured in Turkey in 2006 and held by the Central Intelligence Agency as a “high-value detainee,” then was transferred to U.S. navy custody at Guantánamo Bay the following 12 months.

Even earlier than his seize, in line with his legal professionals, he had been identified with backbone issues and indicators of degenerative disc illness. His situation grew to become acute in 2017 when guards found him incontinent in his cell. The Pentagon scrambled a neurosurgical crew to the bottom forward of the arrival of Hurricane Irma for the primary of 5 backbone surgical procedures in 9 months.

Mr. Hadi now depends on a wheelchair and walker contained in the jail, and a padded geriatric chair for assist in court docket. Guards additionally preserve a hospital mattress contained in the courtroom the place he has slept when heavy painkillers brought on him to nod off.

Mr. Hadi’s case has highlighted the challenges for the Defense Department of managing getting older detainees at Guantánamo Bay.

While U.S. troops and different residents of the bottom are routinely despatched to navy well being care amenities within the United States, the Pentagon has needed to deliver consultants and complicated medical gear to Guantánamo for the prisoners as a result of the legislation forbids their switch to the United States for any purpose — not trial or imprisonment or emergency well being care.

The United States is obliged to supply enough well being care to struggle captives below the Geneva Conventions. Prison commanders have additionally for years boasted that the care the Guantánamo detainees obtain is the same as that it gives U.S. service members, and at occasions extra instantly obtainable as a result of medics are on responsibility at cellblocks across the clock.

Defense legal professionals mentioned, nonetheless, in an emergency submitting on Thursday that Mr. Hadi was notified that “specialist treatment was not available for several weeks.”

Lt. Col. Michael D. Zimmerman, the Marine choose in Mr. Hadi’s case, famous in ordering a report on Friday routine well being replace filed with the court docket final week listed “no significant change in the accused’s medical status.” Military judges have been largely reluctant to contain themselves in disputes over detainee medical care, excluding points that intrude with the power of a prisoner to work with legal professionals.

U.S. navy spokesmen assigned to the jail and U.S. Southern Command headquarters in Miami had no rapid touch upon Mr. Hadi’s situation, together with whether or not the pandemic had sophisticated efforts to look after him. Most detainees have been vaccinated. There have been no identified instances of personnel or prisoners turning into contaminated at the jail.