A copy shop for a former Guantánamo Detainee!?Posted: July 10, 2011
For almost seven years, Mustafa Ait Idir, a citizen of Bosnia, was detained in Guantánamo until the US authorities eventually dropped all allegations against him in 2008. To this day, he has not received any compensation or other form of redress for the suffering he experienced.
On the contrary. Since his release, Mr. Ait Idir has been confronted with the stigma of being a former Guantánamo detainee which hampers his efforts to start his life again. In addition to the physical and psychological consequences of his detention he is now also faced with economic challenges since he has not been able to find any new employment. The Austrian diplomat Wolfgang Petritsch and human rights expert Manfred Nowak, both have been working in high-ranking functions in Bosnia, are now initiating a project with the intention to rectify this shortcoming. By raising small contributions via the crowd sourcing internet platform http://www.respekt.net it is hoped to get the start-up capital for a copy shop in Sarajevo. The small business will provide a stable source of income for Mr. Ait Idir, a computer graphics expert by training, his wife and four children and with this some hope and perspective for the future. With small contributions from as many people as possible, the engagement of civil society shall prevail where democratic states failed to live up to their fundamental rights and humanitarian obligations and left the victims of severe human rights violations alone.