Judge Orders Release of Guantánamo’s Forgotten Child


Just two weeks ago, in a habeas corpus case in a Washington D.C. court, Judge Richard Leon turned the clock back to January 11, 2002 (the day Guantánamo opened) by ruling that the US government could continue holding two prisoners at Guantánamo — the Yemeni Muaz al-Alawi and the Tunisian Hisham Sliti — because the authorities had demonstrated, to his satisfaction, that they met the criteria for being regarded as “enemy combatants.”

According to the definition of an “enemy combatant” that Leon himself had been obliged to choose from several options before proceeding with the cases, this meant that they were “part of or supporting Taliban or al-Qaeda forces, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the US or its coalition partners,” which “includes any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported hostilities in aid of enemy armed forces.”

This was a disturbing development, because both men, who have been held for seven years, remain in an unprecedented legal limbo, despite having secured the right to have their cases reviewed in a court of law following a ruling by the Supreme Court last June. Unlike enemy prisoners of war, who are held in accordance with the Geneva Conventions, or criminal suspects, who are expected to face a trial in a timely manner, the “enemy combatants” imprisoned solely on the President’s whim in the wake of the 9/11 attacks can apparently be held indefinitely.

As I explained in a recent article, Judge Leon was observing the law as it currently stands when he ruled that al-Alawi and Sliti were “enemy combatants” (and when he also held, in November, that although the government had failed to establish a case against five Bosnians of Algerian origin, the sixth, Belkacem Bensayah, had also been correctly designated as an “enemy combatant”), but it remains a cruel and unjust law, as the three men in question continue to be held with less rights than those afforded to the most murderous individuals imprisoned on the US mainland, even though none of them is alleged to have harmed a single US citizen.

While this remains a deeply disturbing problem that Barack Obama will have to remedy of he is to have any chance of fulfilling his stated ambition to “regain America’s moral stature in the world,” Judge Leon struck another blow for justice yesterday by ruling (PDF) that the government had failed to establish a case against another prisoner, Mohammed El-Gharani, and ordering his release “forthwith.”

Torturing a teenager

A Chadian national and Saudi resident, El-Gharani was just 14 years old when he was seized by Pakistani forces in October 2001, in a raid on a mosque in Karachi, Pakistan, 700 miles from the battlefields of Afghanistan. As with all but three of the 22 confirmed juveniles who have been held at Guantánamo, the US authorities never treated him separately from the adult population, even though they are obliged, under the terms of the UN’s Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (on the involvement of children in armed conflict) to promote “the physical and psychosocial rehabilitation and social reintegration of children who are victims of armed conflict.”

Instead, El-Gharani was treated with appalling brutality. After being tortured in Pakistani custody, he was sold to US forces, who flew him to a prison at Kandahar airport, where, he said, one particular soldier “would hold my penis, with scissors, and say he’d cut it off.” His treatment did not improve in Guantánamo. Subjected relentlessly to racist abuse, because of the color of his skin, he was hung from his wrists on numerous occasions, and was also subjected to a regime of “enhanced” techniques to prepare him for interrogation — including prolonged sleep deprivation, prolonged isolation and the use of painful stress positions — that clearly constitute torture. As a result of this and other abuse, including regular beatings by the guard force responsible for quelling even the most minor infractions of the rules, El-Gharani has become deeply depressed, and has tried to commit suicide on several occasions.

A case without evidenceмебели

This is distressing enough, in and of itself, but as Judge Leon revealed yesterday, this sustained mistreatment took place even though the authorities had no case against El-Gharani. Although he insisted, for over seven years, that he “traveled to Pakistan from Saudi Arabia at the age of 14 to escape discrimination against Chadians in that country, acquire computer and English skills, and make a better life for himself,” and that he “remained there until his arrest,” the government claimed that he “arrived in Afghanistan at some unspecified time in 2001,” and was “part of or supporting Taliban or al-Qaeda forces,” because he

(1) stayed at an al-Qaeda-affiliated guesthouse in Afghanistan;
(2) received military training at an al-Qaeda-affiliated military training camp;
(3) served as a courier for several high-ranking al-Qaeda members;
(4) fought against US and allied forces at the battle of Tora Bora; and
(5) was a member of an al-Qaeda cell based in London.

In his ruling, Judge Leon demolished the government’s claims with the same dispassionate rigor with which he demolished the claims — from a single, unverifiable source — against five of the six Bosnian Algerians whose release he ordered in November.

“Unlike most of the other cases reviewed to date by this Court,” Leon wrote, the government’s supposed evidence against El-Gharani consisted “principally” of statements made by two other prisoners at Guantánamo. “Indeed,” he added, these statements are either exclusively, or jointly, the only evidence offered by the Government to substantiate the majority of their allegations,” and, in addition, “the credibility and reliability of the detainees being relied upon by the Government has either been directly called into question by Government personnel or has been characterized by Government personnel as undermined.”

Dismissing the allegations, one by one

Dismissing the allegation that El-Gharani stayed at an al-Qaeda-affiliated guesthouse, Leon explained that the government “relies exclusively on the statements of a particular Guantánamo detainee whose reliability had been characterized by the Government’s own interrogators as undermined,” and added that the account was “plagued with internal inconsistencies.”

Dismissing the allegation that El-Gharani took part in the battle of Tora Bora, Leon explained that the government “relies exclusively on a different detainee, to establish this fact,” but that this prisoner’s credibility has also been “seriously called into question by Government personnel who have specifically cautioned against relying on his statements without independent corroboration.” He added that the government “did not produce any such corroboration.”

Dismissing the allegation that El-Gharani attended an al-Qaeda-affiliated training camp, Leon explained that the government “pointed to statements of both of the detainees described above.” However, after noting that he suspected that the government believed that this constituted corroborating evidence, he dismissed both accounts, because, “when viewed together, [they] are not factually compatible, each placing the petitioner at the camp at different points in time, multiple months apart, during the year 2001.”

Dismissing the allegation that El-Gharani was an al-Qaeda courier, Leon explained that, although this claim relied on classified evidence — “which did not include statements of any other detainees” – the information was “woefully deficient to establish this point by a preponderance of the evidence.” He added, “besides having internal inconsistencies, the Government’s evidence raises serious questions about whether certain alleged al-Qaeda correspondence was even on the person of the petitioner as opposed to one of eight other individuals who were turned over to US authorities at Kandahar at the same time as petitioner.”

And finally, dismissing the allegation that El-Gharani was a member of an al-Qaeda cell in London in 1998, Leon explained that the government was “relying exclusively on the statements of the detainee whose reliability is described above as being undermined.” This was, indeed, the most extraordinary allegation, as El-Gharani was just 11 years old at the time, and, as his lawyer, Clive Stafford Smith, explained in his book, The Eight O’Clock Ferry to the Windward Side: Seeking Justice In Guantánamo Bay, “he must have been beamed over to the al-Qaeda meetings by the Starship Enterprise, since he never left Saudi Arabia by conventional means.”

Leon’s verdict was marginally less colorful, but no less devastating. “Putting aside the obvious and unanswered questions as to how a Saudi minor from a very poor family could have even become a member of a London-based cell,” he wrote, “the Government simply advances no corroborating evidence for these statements it believes to be reliable from a fellow detainee, the basis of whose knowledge is — at best — unknown.”

A hopeful precedent

Judge Leon then granted El-Gharani’s habeas claim, with another statement that soundly trounced the government’s basis for holding him, and that ought to have struck fear into those parts of the Pentagon and the Justice Department that are responsible for presenting the government’s evidence in the Guantánamo habeas cases. “Simply stated,” he wrote, “a mosaic of tiles bearing images this murky reveals nothing about the petitioner with sufficient clarity, either individually or collectively, that can be relied upon by this Court.”

While El-Gharani’s imminent release demonstrates, however belatedly, that justice is possible for the prisoners at Guantánamo, the fundamental problem with the definition of an “enemy combatant” — and its implications for those against whom the government manages to establish some sort of a case — must not be brushed aside because of this latest victory.

However, there is reason to hope that the ruling in El-Gharani’s case will lead to the release of other men against whom the government’s only evidence of alleged wrongdoing are statements made by other prisoners whose reliability has been called into doubt by government officials. As was revealed in a declaration in November 2007 by Lt. Col. Stephen Abraham, a veteran of US intelligence who worked for the organization responsible for compiling the evidence against prisoners, “Most of the information collected … consisted … of information obtained during interrogations of other detainees,” because the organization had little or no access to the intelligence agencies. This is worrying enough, as there is ample evidence that prisoners were tortured, coerced or bribed into producing false confessions, but what makes it even more disturbing is that lawyers for the prisoners — and those who have studied the documentation closely, as I did for my book The Guantánamo Files — are aware that statements made by a number of “unreliable” prisoners (including the two cited in El-Gharani’s case) are being used as evidence in many other cases.

As I have explained in a previous article (drawing on some exemplary research conducted by Corine Hegland for the National Journal), a military official discovered in 2004 that one of these prisoners, described as a notorious liar by the FBI, had made groundless allegations against 60 prisoners in total, which were, nonetheless, being used by the government as evidence, and this is just one example of an infection so widespread that it suggests that Judge Leon’s description of the evidence as a murky mosaic of tiles should be replaced by an even more skeptical conclusion: that it is, instead, the tip of a particularly murky iceberg.

As Clive Stafford Smith said to me today, “It is a sad day when patently false information produced by people who have been tortured to inform results in a child being imprisoned in Guantánamo Bay. Mohammed El-Gharani has spent a third of his young life in prison for the most unjustifiable of reasons, and it is my fervent hope, as the habeas cases proceed, that the revelation of other false confessions will be followed by rulings that are as just as the one delivered yesterday by Judge Leon.”

POSTSCRIPT (Jan. 16): You would think, having had its case comprehensively demolished by an appointee of the outgoing President, who is not known for his left-leaning views, that the government would capitulate to Judge Leon’s ruling and release Mohammed El-Gharani immediately. But no! Following the ruling, a Justice Department representative explained that the government was still considering its options, and that a final decision on how to proceed — including the possibility of seeking a stay! — would be forthcoming after the classified ruling and judgment were issued.

Did no one tell the Justice Department that, whatever the shortcomings of the habeas reviews — in terms of continuing to hold prisoners indefinitely as “enemy combatants” — the judges are, at least, empowered to rule that the government can no longer continue to hold prisoners on the basis of wishful thinking?

Note: For an article on Mohammed El-Gharani’s release from Guantánamo, see Guantánamo’s Youngest Prisoner Released To Chad (June 2009).

Andy Worthington is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison (published by Pluto Press, distributed by Macmillan in the US, and available from Amazon — click on the following for the US and the UK). To receive new articles in your inbox, please subscribe to my RSS feed.

As published on the Huffington Post, Antiwar.com, CounterPunch, ZNet and AlterNet.

For a sequence of articles dealing with the Guantánamo habeas cases, see: Guantánamo and the Supreme Court: the most important habeas corpus case in modern history and Guantánamo and the Supreme Court: What Happened? (both December 2007), The Supreme Court’s Guantánamo ruling: what does it mean? (June 2008), Guantánamo as Alice in Wonderland (Uighurs’ first court victory, June 2008), What’s Happening with the Guantánamo cases? (July 2008), Government Says Six Years Is Not Long Enough To Prepare Evidence (September 2008), From Guantánamo to the United States: The Story of the Wrongly Imprisoned Uighurs (October 2008), Guantánamo Uyghurs’ resettlement prospects skewered by Justice Department lies (October 2008), Guilt By Torture: Binyam Mohamed’s Transatlantic Quest for Justice (November 2008), After 7 Years, Judge Orders Release of Guantánamo Kidnap Victims (November 2008), Is Robert Gates Guilty of Perjury in Guantánamo Torture Case? (December 2008), A New Year Message to Barack Obama: Free the Guantánamo Uighurs (January 2009), The Top Ten Judges of 2008 (January 2009), No End in Sight for the “Enemy Combatants” of Guantánamo (January 2009), How Cooking For The Taliban Gets You Life In Guantánamo (January 2009), Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics (February 2009), Bad News And Good News For The Guantánamo Uighurs (February 2009), The Nobodies Formerly Known As Enemy Combatants (March 2009), Farce at Guantánamo, as cleared prisoner’s habeas petition is denied (April 2009), Obama’s First 100 Days: A Start On Guantánamo, But Not Enough (May 2009), Judge Condemns “Mosaic” Of Guantánamo Intelligence, And Unreliable Witnesses (May 2009), Pain At Guantánamo And Paralysis In Government (May 2009), Guantánamo: A Prison Built On Lies (May 2009), Free The Guantánamo Uighurs! (May 2009), Guantánamo And The Courts (Part One): Exposing The Bush Administration’s Lies (July 2009), Obama’s Failure To Deliver Justice To The Last Tajik In Guantánamo (July 2009), Obama And The Deadline For Closing Guantánamo: It’s Worse Than You Think (July 2009), How Judge Huvelle Humiliated The Government In Guantánamo Case (Mohamed Jawad, July 2009), As Judge Orders Release Of Tortured Guantánamo Prisoner, Government Refuses To Concede Defeat (Mohamed Jawad, July 2009), Guantánamo As Hotel California: You Can Check Out Any Time You Like, But You Can Never Leave (August 2009), Judge Orders Release From Guantánamo Of Kuwaiti Charity Worker (August 2009). Also see: Justice extends to Bagram, Guantánamo’s Dark Mirror (April 2009), Judge Rules That Afghan “Rendered” To Bagram In 2002 Has No Rights (July 2009).

For a sequence of articles dealing with the use of torture by the CIA, on “high-value detainees,” and in the secret prisons, see: Guantánamo’s tangled web: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Majid Khan, dubious US convictions, and a dying man (July 2007), Jane Mayer on the CIA’s “black sites,” condemnation by the Red Cross, and Guantánamo’s “high-value” detainees (including Khalid Sheikh Mohammed) (August 2007), Waterboarding: two questions for Michael Hayden about three “high-value” detainees now in Guantánamo (February 2008), Six in Guantánamo Charged with 9/11 Murders: Why Now? And What About the Torture? (February 2008), The Insignificance and Insanity of Abu Zubaydah: Ex-Guantánamo Prisoner Confirms FBI’s Doubts (April 2008), Guantánamo Trials: Another Torture Victim Charged (Abdul Rahim al-Nashiri, July 2008), Secret Prison on Diego Garcia Confirmed: Six “High-Value” Guantánamo Prisoners Held, Plus “Ghost Prisoner” Mustafa Setmariam Nasar (August 2008), Will the Bush administration be held accountable for war crimes? (December 2008), The Ten Lies of Dick Cheney (Part One) and The Ten Lies of Dick Cheney (Part Two) (December 2008), Prosecuting the Bush Administration’s Torturers (March 2009), Abu Zubaydah: The Futility Of Torture and A Trail of Broken Lives (March 2009), Ten Terrible Truths About The CIA Torture Memos (Part One), Ten Terrible Truths About The CIA Torture Memos (Part Two), 9/11 Commission Director Philip Zelikow Condemns Bush Torture Program, Who Authorized The Torture of Abu Zubaydah?, CIA Torture Began In Afghanistan 8 Months before DoJ Approval, Even In Cheney’s Bleak World, The Al-Qaeda-Iraq Torture Story Is A New Low (all April 2009), Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi Has Died In A Libyan Prison, Dick Cheney And The Death Of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, The “Suicide” Of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi: Why The Media Silence?, Two Experts Cast Doubt On Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi’s “Suicide”, Lawrence Wilkerson Nails Cheney On Use Of Torture To Invade Iraq, In the Guardian: Death in Libya, betrayal by the West (in the Guardian here) (all May 2009), Lawrence Wilkerson Nails Cheney’s Iraq Lies Again (And Rumsfeld And The CIA), and WORLD EXCLUSIVE: New Revelations About The Torture Of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi (June 2009). Also see the extensive archive of articles about the Military Commissions.

For other stories discussing the use of torture in secret prisons, see: An unreported story from Guantánamo: the tale of Sanad al-Kazimi (August 2007), Rendered to Egypt for torture, Mohammed Saad Iqbal Madni is released from Guantánamo (September 2008), A History of Music Torture in the “War on Terror” (December 2008), Seven Years of Torture: Binyam Mohamed Tells His Story (March 2009), and also see the extensive Binyam Mohamed archive. And for other stories discussing torture at Guantánamo and/or in “conventional” US prisons in Afghanistan, see: The testimony of Guantánamo detainee Omar Deghayes: includes allegations of previously unreported murders in the US prison at Bagram airbase (August 2007), Guantánamo Transcripts: “Ghost” Prisoners Speak After Five And A Half Years, And “9/11 hijacker” Recants His Tortured Confession (September 2007), The Trials of Omar Khadr, Guantánamo’s “child soldier” (November 2007), Former US interrogator Damien Corsetti recalls the torture of prisoners in Bagram and Abu Ghraib (December 2007), Guantánamo’s shambolic trials (February 2008), Torture allegations dog Guantánamo trials (March 2008), Sami al-Haj: the banned torture pictures of a journalist in Guantánamo (April 2008), Former Guantánamo Prosecutor Condemns “Chaotic” Trials in Case of Teenage Torture Victim (Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld on Mohamed Jawad, January 2009), Bush Era Ends With Guantánamo Trial Chief’s Torture Confession (Susan Crawford on Mohammed al-Qahtani, January 2009), Forgotten in Guantánamo: British Resident Shaker Aamer (March 2009), and the extensive archive of articles about the Military Commissions.

30 Responses

  1. Kiersten says...

    Thank you for sharing this story – without this kind of research, we would never know the horrible things our government has perpetrated. What has our country become, when we torture a child? Revolting and beyond criminal.

    I would like to know how El-Gharani will be compensated by the US government for the brutal treatment he received at the hands of the Bush administration. If you know of anyone (Congresspeople, Senators, whomever) to whom an appeal should be made for his compensation, please let me know – I feel a need to write a letter, once my nausea over what they have done has temporarily passed.

    My heartfelt, sorrowful apologies to El-Gharani.

  2. Frances Madeson says...

    This is remarkable news. You are a remarkable man. Remarkable and welcome.

  3. Andy Worthington says...

    After this article was published, I received the following message from a reader in Canada who wishes to remain anonymous:

    Dear Mr. Worthington

    Thank you for your article titled “Guantánamo’s Forgotten Child” in Counterpunch. I have been appalled by Guantánamo and the horrible injustices that have taken place there ever since I first heard of this torture camp. I was wondering if there is something the average person can do to bring about fair and just trials in the cases of the detainees held here.

    I must admit that I feel extremely helpless about the whole situation and what has transpired and is transpiring in Guantánamo today. My belief is that the US Administration, together with the Zionists who serve Israel seek to create further anger and alienation in the Middle East in order to perpetuate the phony war on terror. It is a phony war because if the Middle East was treated with fairness and without US-Israeli meddling, there would be no terrorism coming from that part of the world. The Middle East is being used for a very sinister agenda.

    Word gets around fast, and the more mistreatment and injustices the Middle East undergoes and witnesses at the hands of the Neo-cons/Zionists and their gang of thugs the more marginalized the Middle East becomes creating anger which can only lead to more and more young men and women joining up with terrorist-type groups. This agenda is crystal clear. The US and Israel want war with the Muslim World and will do pretty much anything to get it sparked up and going. It is a sad state of affairs. And with the population growth expanding in the Middle East, the US and Israel know they are creating future generations of angry and alienated young men and women. How many Palestinian, Afghani, Lebanese, Pakistani and Iraqi children witness what is going on before them and see a futile future where the only way to do something, anything, is to join terrorist groups who are all too eager to sign on these misguided youth? And we pretty much know what role the CIA plays in all this. The more who sign on, the more gleeful the elite in America, Israel, and Europe get. It is a case of Hegelian Dialectics coming to evil fruition.

    Can you suggest some ideas wherein concerned non-US citizens can take a stand on the injustices that are taking place in Guantánamo and within so called “rendition”’ sites? Your advice will be greatly appreciated.

  4. Andy Worthington says...

    This was my reply:

    I’m hoping, of course, that a new administration will address some of these issues, at least by closing Guantánamo. We then need to maintain the pressure to investigate and shut down all the other ills that lie behind Guantánamo: rendition and secret prisons, for example, but it’s worth remembering that other governments were also complicit to some extent, and that we should each maintain the pressure on our own governments for accountability.

    Whether there will be a significant change in the United States’ policies in the Middle East remains to be seen. Iraq is one thing, but it seems to me that there can be no real change until the Israelis start treating the Palestinians as human beings.

  5. Andy Worthington says...

    And this was my Canadian reader’s reply:

    By now you probably have heard about Obama prolonging the trials at Guantánamo. Not sure exactly what is going on. Is there a reason for this?

    Keep up the great work you are doing.

    God Bless.

  6. Andy Worthington says...

  7. Andy Worthington says...

    And my response to Kiersten:
    Thanks for the comment. I know that some of the British ex-prisoners are trying to gain compensation. See the following:
    And I’m sure that, once Guantanamo is closed, compensation claims will be pursued, but I think the focus now is on getting the place shut down.
    But I agree, it’s deplorable.

  8. freedetainees.org » Chaos and Lies: Why Obama Was Right To Halt The Guantánamo Trials says...

    […] example surfaced just last week, during the habeas corpus review of Mohammed El-Gharani, a Chadian national and Saudi resident who was seized in a raid on a mosque in Karachi, Pakistan, […]

  9. Farce at Guantánamo, as cleared prisoner’s habeas petition is denied by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    […] had failed to justify their detention. Since then, Judge Leon has also ordered the release of Mohammed El-Gharani, a Saudi resident of Chadian origin, who was just 14 years old when he was seized by Pakistani […]

  10. the Shackle Report » Blog Archive » tortured policy says...

    […] in Case of Teenage Torture Victim (Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld on Mohamed Jawad, January 2009), Judge Orders Release of Guantánamo’s Forgotten Child (Mohammed El-Gharani, January 2009), Bush Era Ends With Guantánamo Trial Chief’s Torture […]

  11. Obama’s First 100 Days: A Start On Guantánamo, But Not Enough by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    […] their cases were reviewed by multiple military review boards at Guantánamo, and the rest were ordered to be freed by courts on the US mainland within the last six months, when, after long delays, the lower courts […]

  12. “America’s Disappeared” : Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi Has Died In A Libyan Prison « Muslim in Suffer says...

    […] in Case of Teenage Torture Victim (Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld on Mohamed Jawad, January 2009), Judge Orders Release of Guantánamo’s Forgotten Child (Mohammed El-Gharani, January 2009), Bush Era Ends With Guantánamo Trial Chief’s Torture […]

  13. Guantánamo: A Prison Built On Lies « Dandelion Salad says...

    […] testimony was dismissed by Judge Kessler, and by another judge in the case of another prisoner, Mohammed El-Gharani — was described by Corine Hegland in February 2006, in an article for the National Journal. […]

  14. A Child At Guantánamo: The Unending Torment of Mohamed Jawad by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    […] the 25 prisoners cleared for release by US courts (including the Uighurs and former child prisoner Mohammed El-Gharani), after judges ruled in their habeas corpus cases that the government had failed to establish a […]

  15. Obama’s First 100 Days: Mixed Messages On Torture by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    […] have at least cleared some of them for release, and in recent months have, in a few cases, been ordered to be freed by US […]

  16. Mohammed El-Gharani, Guantánamo’s youngest prisoner, speaks to al-Jazeera by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    […] his release from Guantánamo after seven years’ imprisonment without charge or trial, following a successful habeas corpus appeal in January, Mohammed El-Gharani, now a free man in Chad, told Mohamed Vall of al-Jazeera, in an […]

  17. Guantánamo And The Courts Part One: Exposing The Bush Administration’s Lies by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    […] delivering a last resounding blow to Guantánamo’s credibility by granting the habeas petition of Mohammed El-Gharani, a Saudi resident (and Chadian national) who was just 14 years old when he was seized in a random […]

  18. Obama And The Deadline For Closing Guantánamo: It’s Worse Than You Think by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    […] delivered a verdict, ruled that the government either had no case at all, or that its cases were based upon statements by unreliable witnesses, who were tortured, coerced or bribed, or had severe mental health problems. In addition, judges […]

  19. Obama And The Deadline For Closing Guantánamo: It’s Worse Than You Think « Dr Nasir Khan says...

    […] delivered a verdict, ruled that the government either had no case at all, or that its cases were based upon statements by unreliable witnesses, who were tortured, coerced or bribed, or had severe mental health problems. In addition, judges […]

  20. Guantánamo And The Courts (Part Three): Obama’s Continuing Shame by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    […] credibility has been cast into serious doubt — and rejected” by Judge Leon in the case of Mohammed El-Gharani, because he “has made accusations against a number of detainees” at Guantánamo, and because […]

  21. Obama’s Countdown to Failure on Guantanamo « freedetainees.org says...

    […] adept at perceiving “generalized” and “generic” material masquerading as evidence, and the extent to which “detainees [had] implicated other detainees” (and, it should be noted, themselves), so […]

  22. Rubbing Salt in Guantanamo’s Wounds: Task Force Announces Indefinite Detentions | themcglynn.com/theliberal.net says...

    […] supposed evidence – largely derived from the prisoners themselves, or from their fellow prisoners – is so “tainted” as to be useless and […]

  23. The Black Hole of Guantánamo by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad says...

    […] January 2002, in connection with a non-existent plot to bomb the US embassy, and the case against a Chadian national, who was a child at the time of his capture by Pakistani police in a raid on a mosque in […]

  24. ReasonAndJest.com » Do We Really Need This Gitmo? Do We Really Need Another ‘Rockefeller Republican’ General Running For President? says...

    […] Andy Worthington: Who Is the Syrian Released from Guantanamo to Bulgaria? In disputing Mouhammad’s story, the authorities not only alleged that the house was a safe house, which he “operated,” but also, over the years, built up a picture involving claims that he “trained in al-Qaeda camps” and “was a fighter in the Tora Bora region of Afghanistan” (where a showdown between al-Qaeda and the U.S. military took place around the time of his capture). These are typical allegations leveled against those seized crossing the Pakistani border, but in the courts — the only objective forum in which allegations like these have been tested — judges have often dissected them and found them to be unpersuasive. […]

  25. Does Obama Really Know or Care About Who Is at Guantánamo? « Dandelion Salad says...

    […] more examples, Alla Ali Bin Ali Ahmed, a Yemeni seized in a student guest house in Pakistan, and Mohammed El-Gharani, a Chadian national, who was just 14 when he was seized in a raid on a mosque in Pakistan. In both […]

  26. Gonzalo Gato Villegas » Blog Archive » ¿Sabe realmente Obama, le preocupa acaso, quién sigue en Guantánamo? says...

    […] más, Alla Ali Bin Ali Ahmed, un yemení atrapado en un albergue estudiantil en Pakistán, y Mohammed El-Gharani, un nacional del Chad, que sólo tenía catorce años cuando fue secuestrado en un asalto contra […]

  27. WikiLeaks Reveals Secret Guantánamo Files, Exposes Detention Policy as a Construct of Lies « Dandelion Salad says...

    […] D.C., Judge Richard Leon (an appointee of George W. Bush) excluded Basardah’s statements while granting the habeas corpus petition of Mohammed El-Gharani, a Chadian national who was just 14 years old when he was seized in a raid on a mosque in Pakistan. […]

  28. WikiLeaks Reveals Yemenis Cleared For Guantanamo Release Up To Seven Years - OpEd says...

    […] has been excluded by judges in other habeas corpus petitions (see, for example, the case of Mohammed El-Gharani), and he has been singled out in the most recent media reports based in the WikiLeaks documents as […]

  29. WikiLeaks And The 22 Children Of Guantanamo says...

    […] a raid on mosque in Karachi, he was treated brutally at Guantánamo, but was finally freed after winning his habeas corpus petition in January […]

  30. Judge Condemns “Mosaic” Of Guantánamo Intelligence, And Unreliable Witnesses by Andy Worthington | Dandelion Salad says...

    […] two witnesses in Guantánamo four months ago in the case of the Saudi resident and Chadian national Mohammed El-Gharani, stating that “the credibility and reliability of the detainees being relied upon by the […]

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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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Outside the Law: Stories from Guantánamo


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