Gitmo Detainee Should Be Sent Home After Torture And Illegal Detention

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American Civil Liberties Union
7/28/2009

Court Found Inadequate Case Against ACLU Client Mohammed Jawad

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org

NEW YORK – Guantánamo detainee Mohammed Jawad should be sent home to Afghanistan immediately, according to an American Civil Liberties Union filing today on behalf of Jawad, who has been illegally detained by the U.S. for almost seven years. The Afghan government has indicated that it is prepared to receive Jawad immediately and unconditionally, and that the repatriation could be done without any cost to the U.S.

Despite having admitted that Jawad was tortured and illegally imprisoned, the Obama administration last week asked for permission to continue to hold him while it decides whether to pursue a criminal case against him. The government’s request, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, came after U.S. District Court Judge Ellen S. Huvelle had berated government lawyers the previous week for their inadequate case against Jawad. A copy of a transcript from that hearing can be found online at: www.aclu.org/safefree/detention/40450lgl20090716.html

“Last term, the Supreme Court ruled that Guantánamo detainees have a constitutional right to habeas corpus, for centuries the greatest safeguard of individual liberty against arbitrary and lawless government action,” said Jonathan Hafetz, a staff attorney with the ACLU National Security Project and lawyer for Jawad in his habeas case. “If the government can ignore a federal court’s findings that it has no case against Mr. Jawad or reason to continue to lawlessly detain him, it will render habeas corpus a dead-letter and our courts powerless to remedy injustice.”

Last fall, a military judge in Jawad’s Guantánamo military commission proceeding threw out the bulk of the evidence against him finding that it was obtained through torture. Despite that ruling, the Obama administration continued to rely on those same statements in Jawad’s habeas corpus challenge before Judge Huvelle until last week when it said it would no longer rely on that evidence. The Afghan Attorney General recently sent a letter to the U.S. government demanding Jawad’s return and suggesting he was as young as 12 when he was captured in Afghanistan and illegally rendered from that country nearly seven years ago.

“Having concededly subjected Mr. Jawad to years of torture and abuse, and unlawfully deprived him of his liberty for approximately a third of his life, this court should reject this brazen attempt by the government to further prolong his detention,” said U.S. Air Force Major David Frakt, a lawyer for Jawad in both his habeas and Guantánamo military commissions cases. “I look forward to returning Mr. Jawad to his family soon.”

Following his 2002 arrest in Afghanistan for allegedly throwing a grenade at two U.S. soldiers and their interpreter, Jawad was subjected to repeated torture and other mistreatment and to a systematic program of harsh and highly coercive interrogations designed to break him physically and mentally. Jawad tried to commit suicide in his cell by slamming his head repeatedly against the wall.

Judge Huvelle today ordered the government to submit a plan for resolving the case by July 29 and scheduled a status conference in the case for July 30 at 10:30 a.m. EDT in Washington, D.C.

More information about Jawad’s habeas case, including today’s filings, is available online at: www.aclu.org/jawad

see

Obama And The Deadline For Closing Guantánamo: It’s Worse Than You Think by Andy Worthington

Andy Worthington discusses the closure of Guantánamo on Al-Jazeera

Blueprint for Accountability: Working the Dark Side

Rideh after horrific suicide attempt by Andy Worthington

Obama Task Force To Delay Report On Detainee Policy

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4 thoughts on “Gitmo Detainee Should Be Sent Home After Torture And Illegal Detention

  1. Pingback: Reflections On Mohamed Jawad’s Release From Guantánamo by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad

  2. Pingback: How Judge Huvelle Humiliated The Government In Guantánamo Case by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad

  3. Pingback: As Judge Orders Release Of Tortured Guantánamo Prisoner, Government Refuses To Concede Defeat by Andy Worthington « Dandelion Salad

  4. I am thankful for your publication and explanation. This case may “break the camel’s back”. Hopefully the idea of military commission trials has been exposed. Just amazes me that this country could neglect the laws of the land and detainee so many on nothing! Seems the Department of Justice and the CIA are working hard to convict and cover their tracks. It’s too late and they know it. Just look at their track record of convictions in real US District Courts.

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