The Tipton Three is the collective name given to three British citizens from Tipton, England, who were held in extrajudicial detention by the United States government for two years in Guantanamo Bay detainment camp in Cuba.
Ruhal Ahmed was born on March 11, 1981; Asif Iqbal was born on April 24, 1981; the United States Department of Defense estimated that Shafiq Rasul was born in 1977. Other reports state he was only a couple of years older than his friends. The three men in their early 20s were captured in Afghanistan in 2001, transferred to United States Army custody and transported to Guantanamo, where they were detained as enemy combatants. Their families were not told of their whereabouts until the British Foreign Office informed them in January 2002. They were three of nine Britons detained at Guantanamo.
After negotiations between the governments and British assessment of their interrogations, the men were repatriated to the United Kingdom in March 2004. They were released without charge the next day.
With many others, Shafiq Rasul filed a habeas corpus suit in 2004 against the United States government for his detention, in a case that ultimately went to the US Supreme Court. In the landmark, Rasul v. Bush (2004), the court held that Guantanamo detainees have the right to challenge whether their detention is constitutional in the US courts. The three men were represented in the UK by the lawyer Gareth Peirce.
In addition, the Tipton Three and Jamal filed a suit in 2004 against the US government in Rasul v. Rumsfeld, challenging its use of torture and religious abuses of detainees. This case was dismissed in April 2009 by the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, based on "limited immunity" of government officials; the court ruled that such treatment had not been legally defined at the time as prohibited. In December 2009 the US Supreme Court declined to accept the case for hearing, so the lower court ruling stands.
The three men were featured as the subjects of The Road to Guantánamo (2006), a docu-drama about the events directed by the British filmmaker, Michael Winterbottom.
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... Shafiq Rasul said "Being in Afghanistan, we were at that age where… seeing a gun… you’d never seen a gun in the UK… you want to hold it ... You want to see what its like ...