Wearing black hoods and orange jumpsuits, dozens of angry protesters have gathered outside the UAE Embassy in Washington, demanding the immediate release of Russian prisoner Ravil Mingazov.
Ravil Mingazov, a former Red Army ballet dancer, spent 15 years in Guantanamo without charge before he arrived in the UAE
He is currently held in the Gulf country amid reports that he is expected to be forcibly repatriated to Russia.
Family sources affirmed that Mingazov was subjected to cruel treatment in UAE custody.
He was also held in solitary confinement for four years, the sources added.
The protesters called on the Biden administration to act immediately on Mingazov’s behalf, calling the US government “complicit” after agreeing to the secret terms of his transfer to the UAE five years ago.
Banners reading “Shame on UAE” and “No Rendition for Ravil” were held during the protest.
“We want him to have an opportunity to see his son and to see freedom and to see a life where he can be respected and live as a practising Muslim who doesn’t have to fear persecution anymore. He will not have that life if he is returned to Russia,” Kristin Davis, co-counsel for Mingazov, said during the rally.
The Middle East Eye quoted the US State Department spokesperson as saying that the “United States is aware of and deeply concerned by reports regarding the potential forced repatriation to Russia from the UAE.
“We have discussed our concerns with the UAE and will continue to follow the situation closely,” the spokesperson said in an email to MEE.
“I wish Ravil had gotten stuck inside the Trump Gitmo for four more years,” Thompson told Middle East Eye. “I wouldn’t wish that on a person, but compared to where he is, Guantanamo must sound like a resort.”
Mingazov is one of 23 detainees, 18 Yemenis and four Afghans, who were transferred from Guantanamo to the UAE between 2015 and 2017.
None of them has been released into Emirati society or given jobs or housing, as their legal teams and families were assured.