Guantanamo and US District Courts/Appeals Courts

Mohammed Al-Qahtani: Will Severe Mental Illness Secure His Release from Guantánamo?

5.10.20

An update in the case of Guantánamo prisoner Mohammed al-Qahtani, who, notoriously, was subjected to torture at the prison in 2002 in relation to claims that he was the intended 20th hijacker for the 9/11 attacks. Al-Qahtani has long-standing severe mental health issues, exacerbated by his torture, and earlier this year the District Court ordered a mixed medical commission for him, to assess whether or not he should be returned to Saudi Arabia to receive appropriate treatment. The government appealed for a stay, but the good news is that now the appeals court, the D.C. Circuit Court, has refused to go along with the government’s wishes.

The New York Times’ Linda Greenhouse on Guantánamo: “Born in Fear and Sustained Through Political Cynicism and Public Indifference”

18.9.20

A cross-post, with my own detailed introduction, of an important New York Times article by longtime Guantánamo watcher Linda Greenhouse, examining the shameful recent ruling by a panel of appeals court judges in Washington, D.C., denying that due process rights extend to the Guantánamo prisoners.

Trump-Appointed Appeals Court Judge Rules That Guantánamo Prisoners Don’t Have Due Process Rights

2.9.20

The significance of an appeals court ruling, written by Trump appointee Neomi Rao, claiming that the Guantánamo prisoners do not have due process rights, contrary to Boumediene v. Bush, the 2008 Supreme Court ruling affirming their habeas corpus rights, and a ruling last year, Qassim v. Trump, establishing their due process rights, in direction contravention of this latest ruling.

Judge Upholds Ruling Ordering Independent Medical Review for Tortured Guantánamo Prisoner Mohammed Al-Qahtani

20.8.20

Good news as a US judge upholds a ruling from March requiring the US government to allow a US doctor and two foreign doctors to assess the mental health of Mohammed al-Qahtani, a Saudi national who was subjected to a vile torture program at Guantánamo when he was suspected of being the intended 20th hijacker for the 9/11 attacks, even though the US authorities knew that he had serious pre-existing mental health issues.

US Judge Orders Independent Psychiatric Assessment of Tortured Guantánamo Prisoner Mohammed Al-Qahtani

13.3.20

In a historic US court ruling, District Judge Rosemary Collyer has ordered the US government to allow tortured Guantánamo prisoner Mohammed al-Qahtani, who has long-standing and profound mental health issues, to be assessed by “a mixed medical commission,” consisting of a US medical officer, and two doctors from a neutral country chosen by the International Committee of the Red Cross, to determine whether he should be returned to Saudi Arabia for treatment.

Horribly Repressive: The Truth About Donald Trump’s Guantánamo

18.12.19

My discussion of a recent ABC News article highlighting, via attorney Shelby Sullivan-Bennis, repressive and culturally inadequate treatment of prisoners at Guantánamo by medical personnel this summer, which led to all of the “low-value detainees” — 24 men in total —refusing to engage with medical staff. The situation now appears to have been partly resolved, but prisoners continue, as ever, to be shackled when meeting with military personnel, even though they offer no threat to them whatsoever.

In Abu Zubaydah Court Case, US Judges Admit That He Was Tortured

3.10.19

My report about a little-noticed ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Abu Zubaydah, for whom the CIA’s post-9/11 torture program was developed, in which, for the first time, an appellate court has stated that he was tortured, and has also recognized that the Bush administration’s description of him as a member of Al-Qaeda was mistaken. My article also includes a cross-post of an article about the case by Joseph Margulies, who was one of Abu Zubaydah’s lawyers for over ten years.

18 Years After 9/11, the Endless Injustice of Guantánamo is Driving Prisoners to Suicidal Despair

11.9.19

On the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, one of the bitterest legacies of the “war on terror” that the Bush administration declared in response is Guantánamo, where the men held are sinking into despair under Donald Trump, including one man, Sharqawi Al Hajj, who, just last month, attempted suicide, cutting his wrists with a piece of glass while on a phone call with his lawyer. How long can this injustice continue?

Lawyers’ Fears for Guantánamo “Forever Prisoner” Sharqawi Al-Hajj “After Rapidly Declining Health and Suicidal Statements”

1.9.19

I report on disturbing news from the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), who explain that one of their Guantánamo clients, Sharqawi al-Hajj, a torture victim, “forever prisoner” and long-term hunger striker, “stated on a recent call with his attorney that he wanted to take his own life.”

Abandoned in Guantánamo: Abdul Latif Nasser, Cleared for Release Three Years Ago, But Still Held

26.8.19

Following up on an ABC News feature about Guantánamo – a rarity for the US mainstream media, with the exception of Carol Rosenberg at the New York Times – about the case of Abdul Latif Nasser, a Moroccan prisoner who was approved for release from Guantánamo three years ago, but is still held because the necessary procedures weren’t completed by the time President Obama left office, and Donald Trump, of course, has no intention of releasing anyone from Guantánamo under any circumstances.

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Andy Worthington

Investigative journalist, author, campaigner, commentator and public speaker. Recognized as an authority on Guantánamo and the “war on terror.” Co-founder, Close Guantánamo and We Stand With Shaker. Also, photo-journalist (The State of London), and singer and songwriter (The Four Fathers).
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