Yusuf Mingazov met his father Ravil—a former Russian ballet dancer—for the first time through a videocall between a Red Cross office in Britain and the Guantánamo Bay detention camp in Cuba, where he had been imprisoned for more than 14 years.
“It was kind of difficult to explain the emotions and everything, but it was nice to see him because it was the first time,” said Yusuf, 22, who was born in Russia.
He was just three years old when his father was arrested in Pakistan in 2002 accused of being associated with al Qaeda and the Taliban. The U.S. concluded that he was a “low level fighter”—which he denies—before clearing him for release in 2017, but he was not granted freedom. Instead, Ravil Mingazov was sent to the United Arab Emirates where he languishes in another jail cell, in arguably even worse conditions.
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