Law

Guantánamo Habeas Results: Prisoners 34, Government 13

Photo by U.S. Army Sgt. Sara Wood.

Please see Mr. Worthington’s introductory report on his “Guantanamo Habeas Week” series here.

As part of my series, “Guantánamo Habeas Week” (introduced here), it’s my pleasure to present a list of the 47 habeas corpus rulings made to date, with links to the articles I have written over the last 19 months analyzing the judges’ rulings.

As I explained in the introduction to this series, I remain impressed that the judges involved have ruled in the prisoners’ favor in 34 of the 47 cases, particularly because they have revealed the alarming flimsiness of most of the material presented by the government as evidence — primarily, confessions extracted through the torture or coercion of the prisoners themselves, or through the torture, coercion or bribery of other prisoners, either in Guantánamo, the CIA’s secret prisons, or proxy prisons run on behalf of the CIA in other countries.

However, as I also explained, I remain deeply troubled about the justification for continuing to hold the majority of the prisoners who lost their habeas petitions, because the basis for doing so — the Authorization for Use of Military Force, passed by Congress in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and maintained as a justification by President Obama — was, and is a deeply flawed document, which fails to distinguish between a small group of genuine terrorists (al-Qaeda) and a considerably larger group of men (and boys) associated with the Taliban. The result is that men continue to be consigned to indefinite detention, on an apparently sound legal basis, even though they were only peripherally involved with the military conflict in Afghanistan to secure the fall of the Taliban, and should, all along, have been held (if at all) as prisoners of war, and protected by the Geneva Conventions.

Please note that, although 23 of the prisoners who won their habeas petitions have been released, eleven are still held. With the exception of the Uighurs, the government has appealed the rulings (or appears intent on appealing). In the cases of prisoners who lost their habeas petitions, a number of appeals have also been filed. See the Center for Constitutional Rights’ Habeas Scorecard for further information on the status of the various appeals.

The 47 Guantánamo Habeas Corpus Results

October 2008

1 WON: Abdul Helil Mamut (aka Abdul Khalil Manut, Abdul Nasser, Abdulnassir) (Uighur, ISN 278)
Released in Bermuda, June 2009.
2 WON: Abdullah Abdulquadirakhun (aka Abdulla Abdulqadir, Jalal Jalaladin) (Uighur, ISN 285)
Released in Bermuda, June 2009.
3 WON: Emam Abdulahat (aka Salahidin Abdulahad, Abdul Semet) (Uighur, ISN 295)
Released in Bermuda, June 2009.
4 WON: Huzaifa Parhat (aka Hozaifa Parhat, Ablikim Turahun) (Uighur, ISN 320)
Released in Bermuda, June 2009.
5 WON: Nag Mohammed (aka Edham Mamet) (Uighur, ISN 102)
Released in Palau, October 2009.
6 WON: Ahmad Tourson (Uighur, ISN 201)
Released in Palau, October 2009.
7 WON: Anwar Hassan (aka Hassan Anvar) (Uighur, ISN 250)
Released in Palau, October 2009.
8 WON: Abdulghappar Abdul Rahman (Uighur, ISN 281)
Released in Palau, October 2009.
9 WON: Dawut Abdurehim (Uighur, ISN 289)
Released in Palau, October 2009.
10 WON: Adel Noori (Uighur, ISN 584)
Released in Palau, October 2009.
11 WON: Arkin Mahmud (Uighur, ISN 103)
Released in Switzerland, March 2010.
12 WON: Bahtiyar Mahnut (Uighur, ISN 277)
Released in Switzerland, March 2010.
13 WON: Abdul Razak (Uighur, ISN 219)
Still held.
14 WON: Yusef Abbas (Uighur, ISN 275)
Still held.
15 WON: Saidullah Khalik (Uighur, ISN 280)
Still held.
16 WON: Hajiakbar Abdulghupur (Uighur, ISN 282)
Still held.
17 WON: Ahmed Mohamed (Uighur, ISN 328)
Still held.

For my analysis of the ruling, see: From Guantánamo to the United States: The Story of the Wrongly Imprisoned Uighurs.
For Judge Ricardo Urbina’s unclassified opinion, see here. And see here for a transcript of the hearing.
For the releases in Bermuda, see: Who Are The Four Guantánamo Uighurs Sent To Bermuda?
For the releases in Palau, see: Who Are The Six Uighurs Released From Guantánamo To Palau?
For the releases in Switzerland, see: More Dark Truths from Guantánamo, as Five Innocent Men Released.
For the Supreme Court’s refusal to consider the case of the last five Uighurs held, see: Guantánamo Uighurs Back in Legal Limbo.

November 2008

18 WON: Mohammed Nechle (Bosnian Algerian, ISN 10003)
Released in Bosnia, December 2008.
19 WON: Mustafa Ait Idr (Bosnian Algerian, ISN 10004)
Released in Bosnia, December 2008.
20 WON: Boudella al-Haj (Bosnian Algerian, ISN 10006)
Released in Bosnia, December 2008.
21 WON: Lakhdar Boumediene (Bosnian Algerian, ISN 10005)
Released in France, May 2009.
22 WON: Sabir Lahmar (Bosnian Algerian, ISN 10002)
Released in France, November 2009.
1 LOST: Belkacem Bensayah (Bosnian Algerian, ISN 10001)
Still held.

For my analysis of the ruling, see: After 7 Years, Judge Orders Release of Guantánamo Kidnap Victims.
For Judge Leon’s unclassified opinion, see here.
For the releases in Bosnia, see: Freed Bosnian Calls Guantánamo the “worst place in the world”.
For the release of Boumediene in France, see: Pain At Guantánamo And Paralysis In Government.
For the release of Lahmar in France, see: Four Men Leave Guantánamo; Two Face Ill-Defined Trials In Italy.
For Bensayah’s appeal, see: First Guantánamo Prisoner To Lose Habeas Hearing Appeals Ruling. And also see this New York Times article examining conflict within the Obama administration on prisoner cases, including that of Bensayah.

December 2008

2 LOST: Hisham Sliti (Tunisia, ISN 174)
Still held.
For my analysis of the ruling, see: No End in Sight for the “Enemy Combatants” of Guantánamo.
For Judge Richard Leon’s unclassified opinion, see here.

January 2009

3 LOST: Muaz al-Alawi (aka Moath al-Alwi) (Yemen, ISN 28)
Still held.
For my analysis of the ruling, see: No End in Sight for the “Enemy Combatants” of Guantánamo.
For Judge Richard Leon’s unclassified opinion, see here.

23 WON: Mohammed El-Gharani (Chad, ISN 269)
Released June 2009.
For my analysis of the ruling, see: Judge Orders Release of Guantánamo’s Forgotten Child.
For Judge Richard Leon’s unclassified opinion, see here.
For El-Gharani’s release, see: Guantánamo’s Youngest Prisoner Released To Chad.

4 LOST: Ghaleb al-Bihani (Yemen, ISN 128)
Still held.
Al-Bihani appealed, and lost his appeal in January 2010.
For my analysis of the ruling, see: How Cooking For The Taliban Gets You Life In Guantánamo.
For Judge Richard Leon’s unclassified opinion, see here.
For my analysis of the verdict in the appeal, see: Appeals Court Extends President’s Wartime Powers, Limits Guantánamo Prisoners’ Rights.
For the Circuit Court’s unclassified opinion, see here.

March 2009

24 WON: Yasim Basardah (aka Yasin Basardh) (Yemen, ISN 252)
Still held.
For my analysis of the ruling, see: Guantánamo And The Courts (Part Two): Obama’s Shame.
For Judge Ellen Huvelle’s unclassified opinion, see here.

April 2009

5 LOST: Hedi Hammamy (aka Abdulhadi bin Haddidi) (Tunisia, ISN 717)
Still held.
For my analysis of the ruling, see: Farce at Guantánamo, as cleared prisoner’s habeas petition is denied.
For Judge Richard Leon’s unclassified opinion, see here.

May 2009

25 WON: Alla Ali Bin Ali Ahmed (Yemen, ISN 692)
Released September 2009.
For my analysis of the ruling, see: Judge Condemns “Mosaic” Of Guantánamo Intelligence, And Unreliable Witnesses.
Also see: Guantánamo: A Prison Built On Lies.
For Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly’s unclassified opinion, see here.
For Ali Ahmed’s release, see: Three Prisoners Released From Guantánamo: Two To Ireland, One To Yemen.

June 2009

26 WON: Abdul Rahim al-Ginco (aka Abdul Rahim Janko) (Syria, ISN 489)
Released.
For my analysis of the ruling, see: Why Did It Take So Long To Order The Release From Guantánamo Of An Al-Qaeda Torture Victim?
Also see: Andy Worthington Discusses Guantánamo on Democracy Now!
For Judge Richard Leon’s unclassified opinion, see here.

July 2009

27 WON: Khalid al-Mutairi (Kuwait, ISN 213)
Released October 2009.
For my analysis of the ruling, see: Judge Orders Release From Guantánamo Of Kuwaiti Charity Worker.
Also see: Guantánamo And The Courts (Part Three): Obama’s Continuing Shame.
For Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly’s unclassified opinion, see here.
For al-Mutairi’s release, see: Two More Guantánamo Prisoners Released: To Kuwait And Belgium.

28 WON: Mohamed Jawad (Afghanistan, ISN 900)
Released August 2009.
For my analysis of the ruling, see: As Judge Orders Release Of Tortured Guantánamo Prisoner, Government Refuses To Concede Defeat.
Also see: How Judge Huvelle Humiliated The Government In Guantánamo Case.
For Judge Ellen Huvelle’s unclassified opinion, see here. And see here for a transcript of the hearing.
For Jawad’s release, see: Reflections On Mohamed Jawad’s Release From Guantánamo.

August 2009

6 LOST: Adham Ali Awad (Yemen, ISN 88)
Still held.
For my analysis of the ruling, see: No Escape From Guantánamo: The Latest Habeas Rulings.
For Judge James Robertson’s unclassified opinion, see here.

29 WON: Mohammed al-Adahi (Yemen, ISN 33)
Still held.
For my analysis of the ruling, see: No Escape From Guantánamo: The Latest Habeas Rulings.
For Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly’’s unclassified opinion, see here.
For my analysis of the government’s subsequent appeal, and Judge Kollar-Kotelly’s response to it, see: What Does It Take To Get Out Of Obama’s Guantánamo?

7 LOST: Fawzi al-Odah (Kuwait, ISN 232)
Still held.
For my analysis of the ruling, see: No Escape From Guantánamo: The Latest Habeas Rulings.
For Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly’s unclassified opinion, see here.

September 2009

8 LOST: Sufyian Barhoumi (Algeria, ISN 694)
Still held.
For information about Barhoumi, see:
Guantánamo trials: critical judge sacked, British torture victim charged.
For the 2-page ruling by Judge Rosemary Collyer, see here. The unclassified opinion has not been released.

30 WON: Fouad al-Rabiah (Kuwait, ISN 551)
Released December 2009.
For my analysis of the ruling, see: A Truly Shocking Guantánamo Story: Judge Confirms That An Innocent Man Was Tortured To Make False Confessions.
For Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly’s unclassified opinion, see here.
For al-Rabiah’s release, see: Innocent Guantánamo Torture Victim Fouad al-Rabiah Is Released In Kuwait.

November 2009

31 WON: Farhi Saeed bin Mohammed (Algeria, ISN 311)
Still held.
For my analysis of the ruling, see: Judge Orders Release Of Algerian From Guantánamo (But He’s Not Going Anywhere).
For Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly’s unclassified opinion, see here.
For an analysis of the significance of Judge Kollar-Kotelly’s ruling with reference to statements made by torture victim Binyam Mohamed, see: Binyam Mohamed: Evidence of Torture by US Agents Revealed in UK.

December 2009

9 LOST: Musa’ab al-Madhwani (Yemen, ISN 839)
Still held.
For my analysis of the ruling, see: “Model Prisoner” at Guantánamo, Tortured in the “Dark Prison,” Loses Habeas Corpus Petition.
For Judge Thomas Hogan’s unclassified opinion, see here. And see here for a transcript of the hearing.

32 WON: Saeed Hatim (Yemen, ISN 255)
Still held.
For my analysis of the ruling, see: Judge Orders Release From Guantánamo Of Unwilling Yemeni Recruit.
For Judge Ricardo Urbina’s unclassified opinion, see here.

February 2010

10 LOST: Suleiman al-Nahdi (Yemen, ISN 511)
Still held.
For my analysis of the ruling, see: The Black Hole of Guantánamo.
For Judge Gladys Kessler’s unclassified opinion, see here.

11 LOST: Fahmi al-Assani (Yemen, ISN 554)
Still held.
For my analysis of the ruling, see: The Black Hole of Guantánamo.
For Judge Gladys Kessler’s unclassified opinion, see here.

33 WON: Uthman Abdul Rahim Mohammed Uthman (Yemen, ISN 27)
Still held.
For my analysis of the ruling, see: The Black Hole of Guantánamo.
For Judge Henry H. Kennedy Jr.’s unclassified opinion, see here.

March 2010

34 WON: Mohamedou Ould Slahi (aka Salahi) (Mauritania, ISN 760)
Still held.
For my analysis of the ruling, see: Guantánamo and Habeas Corpus: The Torture Victim and the Taliban Recruit.
For Judge James Robertson’s unclassified opinion, see here.

12 LOST: Mukhtar al-Warafi (Yemen, ISN 117)
For my analysis of the ruling, see: Guantánamo and Habeas Corpus: The Torture Victim and the Taliban Recruit.
For Judge Royce C. Lamberth’s unclassified opinion, see here.

April 2010

13 LOST: Yasin Qasem Muhammad Ismail (Yemen, ISN 522)
For my analysis of the ruling, see: An Insignificant Yemeni at Guantánamo Loses His Habeas Petition.
Judge Henry H. Kennedy Jr.’s unclassified opinion is not yet available.

Andy Worthington, a regular contributor to The Public Record, is the author of The Guantánamo Files: The Stories of the 774 Detainees in America’s Illegal Prison and the definitive Guantánamo prisoner list, published in March 2009. He maintains a blog at andyworthington.co.uk.

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1 Response for “Guantánamo Habeas Results: Prisoners 34, Government 13”

  1. I am a U.S. citizen. I was never accused of terrorism, own no guns, and live at home with my family in Wisconsin where we own and operate a small mail order business. DOJ incarcerated me for 5 months without a criminal charge. I was not arraigned and there was no bail hearing. My motions to be told the statutory basis of imprisonment and the procedure to be used were denied.

    I sued DOJ for creation and dissemination of criminal records without a statutory basis. DDC 09-cv-0562. DOJ had published in the Federal Register that it does not prosecute violation of court order as such, only criminal offenses and that the Prison Tracking System is used for records associated with a criminal prosecution. Judge Bates dismissed on the basis that there was an authorized law enforcement function for creation of Prisoner Tracking System records without a criminal charge. He denied my supplemental motion to identify that. DOJ counsel David Rybicki opposed my motion for discovery of the statutory basis for imprisonment. The PTS records are supposed to included a certified judgment of conviction but that was missing as were Speedy Trial Notice etc.

    I was held without a sentence for the stated purpose of forcing me to dismiss a lawsuit I filed in federal court, DDC 05-cv-01672. That was a redo of D of Colorado 02-cv-1950, which was dismissed without an opinion. There was no consent order and no document in form Rule 65(d). Former judge Naughty Nottingham adopted a disputed Magistrate’s Report recommending a NO PRO SE order because I alleged that former Steamboat Springs City Council President Kevin Bennett might be a drug dealer. In 2009, he admitted that he pled guilty to conspiracy to sell hash. So I was right about that. The Magistrate ignored the S.C. decisions that I quoted and ruled that prosecutors have immunity for statements made in press conferences after dismissing a criminal charged and that claims preclusion does not require a decision on the merits.

    In 09-cv-0562, DOJ pled that I am a vexatious litigant and therefore they should interfere in civil lawsuits to stop me from filing motions by throwing me in jail. There was no finding in any court that I filed even a single fraudulent statement or did anything remotely criminal.

    My position is that a rose by any other name is still a rose and cabbage is not roses. I.E. Records may be labeled Prisoner Tracking Records but they are not exempt from the Privacy Act by Federal Register Publications if they are used to incarcerate people without a criminal charge. But now I must appeal to the Circuit of the District of Columbia.

    You should know that in my case, DOJ stated its new policy to incarcerate citizens without terrorist charges by extrajudicial court order without criminal procedure. So we are all at risk. see

    http://steamboatsprings.net/sites/default/files/2005/09/06/ccmn0906.pdf
    The Federal District Court held a contempt hearing regarding Kay
    Sieverding. She refused to dismiss the cases that she filed and was
    arrested. Mr. Sieverding dismissed the cases but later reneged and said
    he will not dismiss the cases; so he may be arrested as well.

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