Tag: detainees (page 2)

Gitmo Judge Accepts Detainees Filing Despite Obama Cessation Order

President Obama issued an order halting the military commissions trials at Guantanamo. Yet, the judge accepted the latest filing by the five detainees whose trials were halted. The ACLU reports:

In defiance of President Obama’s order halting the Guantánamo military commissions, a military judge accepted a legal pleading filed by the five 9/11 suspects. Judge Col. Stephen R. Henley ordered the immediate public release of the filed document despite the fact that all other legal filings have been kept sealed for months by the military commissions. Remarkably, the judge accepted the pleading from all five 9/11 defendants despite the fact that the competency of two of them has not been determined and their attorneys were not informed.

The New York Times reported on the pleading today. [More...]

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Hillary Asks Spain to Take Some Guantanamo Detainees

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with the Foreign Minister of Spain and asked him to help the U.S. by accepting some released Guantanamo detainees:

Mr Moratinos said Mrs Clinton had asked him for "help in solving this drama, this unacceptable tragedy of the prisoners at Guantanamo".

His response:

"We are prepared to cooperate. Our teams will make contact to legally study each case on a case by case basis," he told Spanish media.

In addition:

Mr Moratinos said the meeting with Mrs Clinton heralded "a new stage in relations between the United States and Spain is opening that is more intense, more productive".

Well done. It's been too long since we had an effective Secretary of State.

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Pentagon Report: Guantanamo Complies With Geneva Conventions

In the fox guarding the hen house department: A report on Guantanamo President Obama requested on his second day in office has been completed.

A Pentagon report requested by President Obama on the conditions at the Guantánamo Bay detention center concluded that the prison complies with the humane-treatment requirements of the Geneva Conventions.

The report is by Adm. Patrick M. Walsh, the vice chief of naval operations.

In related news, Attorney General Eric Holder is setting up a task force to review the cases of the 245 detainees still held at Gitmo. Here's who's on it: [More...]

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Another Detainee Alleges Torture At CIA Black Hole

Huffington Post has an exclusive interview with Yemen citizen Mohamed Farag Bashmilah:

From October 2003 until May 2005, I was illegally detained by the U.S. government and held in CIA-run "black sites" with no contact with the outside world. On May 5, 2005, without explanation, my American captors removed me from my cell and cuffed, hooded, and bundled me onto a plane that delivered me to Sana'a, Yemen. I was transferred into the custody of my own government, which held me -- apparently at the behest of the United States -- until March 27, 2006, when I was finally released, never once having faced any terrorism-related charges.

He's never gotten an explanation and all of his attempts to obtain documentation have been ignored or rejected. Why is he coming forward at Huffpo today? As part of an effort underway to get President Obama to establish a commission. [More...]

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Former Gitmo Guard's Tell-All

Scott Horton in Harper's writes about former Guantanamo prison guard Brandon Neely's "tell-all" about his experience. Neely was a guard during the first year of Gitmo. Bottom line: Neely says "“The stuff I did and the stuff I saw was just wrong.”

You can read Neely's 15,000 word version (put together by law students at the University of California) here.

Horton says three things stood out to him: [More...]

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New Report on Detainees' and Federal Habeas Cases

The Congressional Research Service has released a new report, Enemy Combatant Detainees: Habeas Corpus Challenges in Federal Court (pdf).

This report provides an overview of the CSRT procedures, summarizes court cases related to the detentions and the use of military commissions, and summarizes the Detainee Treatment Act, as amended by the Military Commissions Act of 2006, analyzing its effects on detainee-related litigation in federal court.

The report summarizes pending legislation and provides an analysis of relevant constitutional issues that may have some bearing on Congress’s options with respect to the Guantanamo detainees.

[Hat tip to Scribe.] The report's conclusion: Congress may be asked to expand the AUMF so more people can be detained longer. [More...]

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Suicidal Gitmo Detainee Needs Help

Mohammed Khan Tumani of Syria was 17 when captured and brought to Guantanamo 7 years ago. No charges have been filed against him. His lawyers today filed a motion for emergency relief in the case of Khan Tumani v. Obama.

The Center for Constitutional Rights filed the motion on his behalf. They are seeking an independent psychiatric and medical evaluation of Khan Tumani, access to his medical records, an end to his placement in solitary confinement and abusive interrogations, and access to his father who is also held at the camp.

Tumani recently tried to commit suicide. Read the details below:

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Late Night: Guantanamo (To Music)

President Obama took a great step forward today for the detainees at Guantanamo, for the rule of law and for the restoration of America's image in the world.

Yes, there's more work to be done, specifically with ensuring that the secret renditions via Ghost Air to other countries whose personnel may engage in torture are not allowed in the future, that the definition of torture includes not just what is prohibited by regulations in the Army Field Manual but also comports in all respects with the Geneva Conventions and the Convention Against Torture, that the military tribunals be dismantled entirely following the review process and that no new national security or other court system is set up to try detainees (our federal criminal and military courts are up to the task).

It's amazing to hear some of the pundits on TV tonight criticize Obama's orders and suggest Gitmo should stay open. Perhaps they have forgotten or never seen the images in this video. [More...]

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Obama Circulates Draft Order Allowing a Year to Close Gitmo

Bump and Update: The Obama Administration is circulating a draft of an executive order allowing for up to a year to close Guantanamo. As the Center for Constitutional Rights says, that's too long.
It only took days to put these men in Guantanamo, it shouldn’t take a year to get them out. We are proud that President Obama made addressing Guantánamo one of his first acts in office. Yet we are disappointed that he outlined no concrete steps for closing the base and gave his administration an entire year to sort out its plans – meaning that some men could have been detained indefinitely in terrible conditions for eight full years. Surely he could do better.


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Switzerland Offers to Consider Taking Gitmo Detainees

The Government of Switzerland made a generous offer today -- it is willing to consider taking Guantanamo detainees who cannot return to their home countries:

"For Switzerland, the detention of people in Guantanamo is in conflict with international law. Switzerland is ready to consider how it can contribute to the solution of the Guantanamo problem," the government said in a statement.

Switzerland said it welcomed the expressed intention of U.S. President Barack Obama to close the prison and would investigate security and legal implications of possibly taking in detainees.

Portugal and France have also expressed a willingness to consider taking detainees. [More...]

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Six Detainees Released From Guantanamo

The Pentagon announced today it released six detainees from Guantanamo. All had been determined, after multiple reviews, of not being enemy combatants.

Four were sent to Iraq, one to Afghanistan and one to Algeria. The detainee returned to Afghanistan was Bizmullah. From the DOD press release:

he Department of Defense has determined – through its comprehensive review processes - that approximately 60 detainees at Guantanamo are eligible for transfer or release. Departure of these detainees is subject to ongoing discussions between the United States and other nations.

245 detainees remain at Guantanamo.

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Debunking the Pentagon's Gitmo Detainee Recidivism Claims

You've probably read the claims by the Defense Department that 61 of the released Guantanamo detainees have returned to terrorism.

Not so, says a new report from the Seton Hall Law School's Center for Policy and Research (and Law Prof Mark Denbeaux and attorney Joshua Denbeaux). The Denbaux' have previously authored compelling reports on the detainees and represented a few of them.

The Seton Hall Center for Policy and Research has issued a report which rebuts and debunks the most recent claim by the Department of Defense (DOD) that “61 in all former Guantanamo detainees are confirmed or suspected of returning to the fight.”

Professor Denbeaux of the Center for Policy & Research has said that the Center has determined that “DOD has issued “recidivism” numbers 43 times, and each time they have been wrong—this last time the most egregiously so.”


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42 Guantanamo Detainees Now On Hunger Strike

In the last week, the number of Guantanamo detainees on hunger strikes has risen to from 34 to 42. There are about 250 detainees in all. Possible reasons for the increase, according to the Pentagon: Obama's inauguration and the Jan. 11 anniversary of the opening of Gitmo.

As of last Friday, 25 of the detainees were being force-fed.

US military authorities said forced feedings begin after a detainee either has gone three weeks without a meal, has fallen below 85 percent of his ideal body weight, or if a doctor has recommended it as a medical necessity to preserve an inmate's life.

The Administration defends the force-feeding. The ACLU vociferously disagrees and condemns the force-feeding as inhumane: [More...]

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Gitmo Word Games

Today unnamed Obama advisors say Obama will order Guantanamo closed during his first week in office.

Ordering Guantanamo's prison closed is not the same thing as closing it. There's no mention of a timetable. As noted yesterday, he said on ABC's This Week not to expect it during his first 100 days.

When is a cigar not a cigar? Apparently, when it comes to closing Guantanamo. As the ACLU says in its latest press release on the anonymously-sourced promise:

“While the news from unnamed sources in the Obama transition team about the closing of Guantánamo is certainly welcome, what we need are specifics about the timeline for the shuttering of the military commissions and the release or charging of detainees who have been indefinitely held for years. Executive orders are an important first step. But we trust that President-elect Obama will provide a detailed plan for ending the Guantánamo military commissions, shutting down the Guantánamo military prison and ending President Bush’s legacy of indefinite detention. An executive order lacking such detail, especially after the transition team has had months to develop a comprehensive plan on an issue this important, would be insufficient.


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Closing Gitmo: It Ain't Rocket Science

The Center for Constitutional Rights has issued a new report on closing Guantanamo. It's as easy as 1-2-3.

  • Send home those who can go home
  • Secure safe haven for those who cannot, and
  • Charge those who can be charged and try them in ordinary federal criminal court.

The full report is available here (pdf). [More...]

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