Court-Ordered Freedom for Guantánamo Prisoners Stops at D.C. Court of Appeals
Sunday, June 26, 2011
Getting out of Guantánamo and going free is no longer a possibility for many detainees even after they have won legal battles in lower federal courts.
Those victories have repeatedly been overturned by the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, whose judges have consistently sided with the Department of Justice.
In the past year, the DC Court of Appeals has ruled on the cases of eight Guantánamo prisoners and in each case it has denied their right to challenge their imprisonment (habeas corpus).
The Justice Department has found itself winning cases that heavily favored detainees, and benefited from unusual rulings, such as one that said lower courts should consider the possibility that “two unreliable pieces of information may corroborate each other.”
In the recently decided case of Hussain Salem Mohammad Almerfedi, a Yemeni captured by Iran and turned over to the U.S. (via Afghanistan) in a prisoner exchange, the lower court dismissed the evidence against him as no more credible than “jailhouse gossip,” but that was good enough for the DC Court of Appeals, which rejected Almerfedi’s right to challenge his imprisonment.
In June 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Boumediene v. Bush, gave habeas corpus rights to Guantánamo prisoners. However, in January 2010, the DC Court of Appeals, in the case of another Yemeni, Ghaleb Nassar al-Bihani, ruled that international laws of war did not apply to those at Guantánamo, allowing the Obama administration to continue to hold al-Bihari as a supporter of al-Qaeda, even if he was only a cook.
-David Wallechinsky, Noel Brinkerhoff
Guantanamo Detainees See Legal Progress Reversed (by Peter Finn and Del Quentin Wilber, Washington Post)
Judges Keep Guantánamo Open Forever (by Andy Worthington, andyworthington.co.uk)
Guantánamo Habeas Results: The Definitive List (by Andy Worthington, andyworthington.co.uk)
Appeals Court Rules that Circumstantial Evidence is Enough to Keep a Prisoner at Guantánamo (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)
- Top Stories
- Unusual News
- Where is the Money Going?
- U.S. and the World
- Appointments and Resignations
- Latest News
- U.S. Resumes Weapons Sales to Bahraini Dictatorship Despite Poor Human Rights Record
- Wrong Phrasing in Jury Instructions Forces Florida to Reopen more than 100 Murder Cases
- Immigration Service Sued after Trying to Deport Legal Immigrant because of its own Bungled Paperwork
- There are now more Spanish Speakers in U.S. than in Spain
- Remote U.S. Research Center Converts to 95% Renewable Energy