Background Behind This Report

In early 2004, United Press International correspondent, John Daly, produced a ground-breaking report, purporting to establish the nationalities of 95% of the detainees being held in US custody at its naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The first of its kind, it accounted for 619 in total, gathering information from global media reports, as well as deriving information from meetings with government officials. However, Daly’s report was restricted to the numbers of detainees per nationality, with no mention of the actual names of the detainees. Much of this information was then made available, in the Arabic language press, in the al-Rai al-Am report by Khalil Khalaf and Dahim al-Qahtani, the most extensive to date in listing 810 prisoners. Unfortunately the latter contained a number of inaccuracies, duplicate names, and was restricted to an Arabic-speaking audience only. therefore undertook the task of translating the names from the al-Rai al-Am report, verifying and supplementing this information with the names of the detainees from our original “prisoner gallery” database since October 2003 – for which much thanks are due to the Arabic site for the names of the Saudi and Yemeni detainees – as well as further in-depth research from media reports and figures from the UPI report.

Earlier this month (1-05-04) the American newspaper, the Washington Post, published the first detailed compilation of detainees into one list in English, much of the research of which came from and We have extracted the names of some detainees from this publication, namely those of the Tunisian prisoners in their entirety, and some of the Turkish, Afghani and Pakistani prisoners. Although the Post initially claimed to have accounted for 370 detainees, there are a number of duplicate prisoners and mistakes, so the figure is somewhat smaller.

The Detainees 

The vast majority of the detainees held in the US naval base in Guantanamo Bay were arrested in Afghanistan or Pakistan, between November 2001 and January 2002, after the US invasion of Afghanistan in the wake of the September 11th attacks. In addition to the fact that many of these were arrested far from the scene of any fighting, a significant number were also the victims of extra-judicial kidnappings and extraditions from countries distant from the Afghan-Pak region, such as Gambia, Bosnia, Malawi and Zambia. In nearly all cases, those abducted were transported first to US Bases in Afghanistan before being detained in the long term in Cuba.

The range of countries from which the detainees originate is estimated to be between 38 countries (according to the UPI report), others suggest 42, and some indicate 44.

The Pentagon officially says that there were approximately 660 detainees and that 120 of those have been released, leaving the number of inmates at Guantanamo at 559. However, it should be noted that there are indications that the actual number of detainees is far higher than the US allege, 660, but closer to 700 or 800. Dr. Najeeb al-Nu’aymi, the former Qatari Minister of Justice who is presently acting as the legal representative on behalf of more than a hundred detainees, elaborates that this is due to the numbers captured after the initial sweep in Afghanistan, and those who have been transferred from various countries. The establishment of a new detention facility in the base, Camp 5, a fortnight ago, built to house 100 inmates, bringing the total capacity of the US base to 1,100 detainees, would further support this. With regular caches of prisoners every few months, it is also believed that Guantanamo will become a future destination for many prisoners held in detention in Iraq.

The report currently is limited to presenting the names of the male detainees. However, it is now believed that there are also female inmates in Guantanamo, at least one of these – whose nationality and age are unknown – has been reported in the press, as an alleged “al-Qaeda member” arrested in Afghanistan and transported to Cuba.

Content of the Report

Our report presents the names of approximately 480 detainees, and has identified the nationalities of a further 174. It organises detainees according to their nationalities, listing them alphabetically (according to their forenames) within each category. We have also listed the residents of a particular country along with their nationals. The number of prisoners of each nationality has also been mentioned. The respective countries have been arranged alphabetically, followed by a brief listing of those whose nationalities have not been identified.

In addition we have arranged the countries according to the numbers of citizens held in Cuba, for each state. The report concludes with a timeline of the released detainees.


® Released
(T) Transferred from Guantanamo to the custody of their own governments for further detention
© Those who have been charged
(MT) Those who face military tribunal

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(NOTE: CAGE represents cases of individuals based on the remit of our work. Supporting a case does not mean we agree with the views or actions of the individual. Content published on CAGE may not reflect the official position of our organisation.)