Guantanamo and US District Courts/Appeals Courts

For First Time Since 2010, A Judge Grants a Guantánamo Prisoner’s Habeas Corpus Petition, Ruling that Asadullah Haroon Gul’s Imprisonment is Unlawful

26.10.21

Celebrating the good news that, for the first time since 2010, a US judge has granted the habeas corpus petition of a Guantánamo prisoner. The prisoner is Asadullah Haroon Gul, who was associated with the Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin militia, but the US Justice Department had continued to try to justify his ongoing imprisonment even though HIG reached a peace deal with the Afghan government in 2016.

Never-Ending Injustice: State Secrets and the Torture of Abu Zubaydah

10.10.21

My report about this week’s Supreme Court hearing in the case of torture victim and Guantánamo prisoner Abu Zubaydah, involving efforts by his lawyers to secure testimony from his torturers regarding what happened to him Poland. In oral argument, however, what emerged most forcefully was the Justices’ surprise that Abu Zubaydah himself has not been allowed to testify about what happened to him, and that he has had a habeas corpus petition pending for 14 years, as well as their concern that he is still being held at all, given the end of the war in Afghanistan.

The Enemy Within: How the US Justice Department Has Spent 19 Years Defending Arbitrary Detention at Guantánamo

5.10.21

My analysis of the significance of last week’s full en banc hearing, in the Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., in Al-Hela v. Biden, a case focused on whether the prisoners at Guantánamo have due process rights (a question that shouldn’t need asking after nearly 20 years), highlighting the obstructive role played by the Justice Department throughout the prison’s long history.

How the Law Failed at Guantánamo

16.7.21

A cross-post, with my own introduction, of a detailed article for the Atlantic about the failure of the law at Guantánamo by Benjamin Farley, an attorney with the defense team for Ammar al Baluchi, one of the five men accused of involvement in the 9/11 attacks, who was also an adviser to the Special Envoy for Guantánamo Closure from 2013 to 2017.

Fighting Guantánamo in the Courts Under President Biden

3.6.21

A detailed examination of the current Guantánamo cases before the US courts, some involving a long-running struggle for due process rights, others involving the imminent end to the war in Afghanistan, and another involving severe mental health issues. There are glimmers of hope in the litigation, but it already seems clear that the Biden administration is intent on resisting judicial interference when it comes to Guantánamo, and is more interested in making decisions about whether or not to release prisoners through the purely administrative Periodic Review Board process, which, just last month, approved three long-standing “forever prisoners” for release.

Afghan Government Calls for Release of Guantánamo “Forever Prisoner” Asadullah Haroon Gul

7.3.21

My report on the news that the Afghan government has submitted an amicus brief to a US court in the case of Asadullah Haroon Gul, one of the last two Afghans in Guantánamo, arguing for his long-overdue release. Of the 40 men still held, Gul is one of 22 identified as “forever prisoners,” because of their ongoing and thoroughly unjustifiable imprisonment without charge or trial.

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.

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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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