Detention & Guantanamo

Bagram Detainees Repatriated to Pakistan, Is Habeas Appeal Moot?

By Raffaela Wakeman
Thursday, November 21, 2013, 11:17 AM

A few weeks ago, Bobby and John reacted to a Washington Post story reporting that seven hundred Afghan detainees at Bagram Air Force Base whom the US transferred to Afghan custody earlier this year may be released. Despite the custody transfer agreement, the U.S. still has its own detention facility at the base, in which it houses non-Afghan detainees. Now it seems that at least a few of those detainees have recently been transferred or repatriated. Six Pakistanis were recently repatriated, and one of them has a habeas appeal pending before the D.C. Circuit.

That detainee, Hamidullah, was just one of three Bagram detainees who simultaneously argued before the D.C. Circuit this fall in favor of overturning the district court's rejection of their habeas petitions. The United States informed the court this week that Hamidullah is no longer in U.S. custody, and so the United States believes that that particular case is now moot. So, the D.C. Circuit has ordered both parties to pull together arguments before Thanksgiving addressing that issue.

Media report that the current draft U.S.-Afghan agreement appears to leave untouched U.S. authority over Bagram Air Force Base.