My nephew Nabil is living a nightmare. He has been detained at America's infamous prison, Guantánamo, since 2002. There, he has been subjected to acts of torture and inhumane treatment despite never having been charged with a crime and despite having been cleared for release by the American authorities since 2007.
I am a French citizen. Several members of our family served in the French army and all of Nabil's close relatives live in France. We therefore call on the Government of France to assist my nephew Nabil so that he may be freed and returned to the country which he loves and in which he grew up: France.
Given that the Americans have affirmed that Nabil is cleared for release and does not pose any risk, he cannot remain indefinitely detained at Guantánamo. But because he was born Algerian, my nephew risks being sent to Algeria, a country where he does not have any family ties nor support.
My family, in conjunction with the legal action charity, Reprieve, which represents Guantánamo detainees, is launching this petition calling upon France to support human rights by welcoming Nabil home as soon as possible.
On February 15, my nephew Nabil will have spent exactly 11 years at Guantánamo. This is despite the fact that Nabil is not a criminal and has not been charged with anything. When I speak with him on the phone—which is unfortunately rare—he tells me how much he dreams of returning to France and of being reunited with his relatives with whom he grew up, particularly his half-brother Hakim (who won the National Medal of Honour for his service in the French army)…Nabil told me of his wish to be a translator or interpreter because he has spent his years in prison learning languages (he speaks French, English and basic Arabic). A guard at Guantánamo described him as "a passionate footballer, a charming young man."
Today, I have hope that things are finally moving. A petition by Canadian senator Roméo Dallaire on Change.org which called on the Canadian government to repatriate Omar Khadr—another young detainee—was successful. So it really is possible to make my nephew's freedom a reality.
I love France, my country, the birthplace of human rights and which has always sought to close Guantánamo. In welcoming my nephew Nabil, France would reaffirm these commitments.
But in order to convince President François Hollande, Minister of Interior Manuel Valls and Minister of Foreign Affairs Laurent Fabius to take action, we need your support.
Thank you for signing and distributing the petition!
With the charity Reprieve and the Committee to Support Nabil Hadjarab
Comité de soutien à Nabil Hadjarab started this petition with a single signature, and now has 18,558 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.