Saifullah Paracha

Saifullah Paracha has been held unlawfully in Guantánamo Bay since September 2004. He has not been charged or tried for any offense.

Saifullah Paracha is a Pakistani national. He traveled to the US to study when he was 26 years old and remained there with his family for approximately 10 years before returning to Pakistan to set up an export business.

Saifullah Paracha was scheduled to fly to Thailand for a business meeting on July 5, 2003. He telephoned one of his daughters just before boarding his flight but he never arrived at the meeting. He later told the Combatant Status Review Tribunal at Guantánamo that when he arrived at Bangkok airport on July 6, he was seized, hooded and cuffed, thrown into the back of a vehicle and taken to an unknown location where he was held for a few days, blindfolded, with his ears covered and his hands and legs cuffed. He was later transferred by US authorities to Bagram, Afghanistan where he was held for over a year before being transferred to Guantánamo in September 2004.

It was only via the television news a month after his initial abduction that Saifullah Paracha’s family learned that he had been taken into US custody. Shortly afterwards they received a letter via the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) explaining that he was being held at Bagram.

US authorities have asserted that Saifullah Paracha is affiliated with al-Qaida, that he has associated with senior members of al-Qaida, including Osama bin Laden, has held large amounts of al-Qaida money and that he had also proposed the use of nuclear weapons against US troops. Saifullah Paracha has maintained that he saw Osama bin Laden twice, at public meetings only, and that he spoke to him only to ask if he would do a television interview. Saifullah Paracha has also said that he did provide assistance to Pakistani nationals who may have been from al-Qaida, but that he was not aware of these links at the time.

Saifullah Paracha has a history of health problems, including a heart condition following a heart attack in 1995, prior to his detention. He is believed to have suffered a second heart attack whilst in US detention at Bagram, Afghanistan in 2003. In November 2006 he was moved to the Guantánamo hospital after suffering serious chest pains and was diagnosed with needing cardiac catheterization – a diagnostic procedure used to detect blockages or other heart problems. During the week he spent in hospital he was reportedly held in four-point restraints with both his hands and both feet chained to the bed at all times, except for one hand at meal times.

Saifullah Paracha’s lawyer visited him in October 2010. His health has improved significantly and he is now believed to be receiving appropriate medication and medical treatment at Guantánamo.


Saifullah Paracha (ISN number 1094)
Camp Delta
U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba
Washington, DC 20355


  • Call for Saifullah Paracha to be released from Guantánamo unless he is charged and tried in accordance with international standards of fairness in an ordinary court – not a military commission.
  • Urge that independent medical experts be allowed to visit him in Guantánamo to assess his health.
  • Call for the closing of the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay and either release the detainees held there or charge and try them in ordinary civilian courts in full accordance with international standards, without recourse to the death penalty.

Paul Lewis
Special Envoy for Guantanamo Detention Closure
OSD Office of Rule of Law and Detainee Policy
U.S. Department of Defense
5D414 Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301
Phone: (703) 697-5884

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