Detention & Guantanamo

Movement in a New Guantanamo Habeas Case

By Benjamin Wittes
Friday, March 31, 2017, 10:59 AM

Don't look now but the long dormant world of Guantanamo habeas litigation is getting at least a little bit less sleepy.

Last November, a detainee named Guled Hassan Duran, an alum of the CIA's RDI program, filed a new habeas petition.

There appears to be movement in the case ongoing now. Last month, Judge Reggie Walton of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia entered this minute order: "MINUTE ORDER. Upon consideration of the respondents' Motion for Extension of Time to File Factual Return, and for good cause shown, it is hereby ORDERED that this motion is GRANTED. It is further ORDERED that the respondents shall file their factual return on or before April 28, 2017."

I'm not quite sure why this case took so long to materialize or why it is moving now, but here are the details.

Duran alleges:

  1. that the AUMF does not cover him because he is not "part of or substantially supporting" enemy forces;
  2. that the AUMF conflict is over in any case and that any application to him of detention authority has long since "unraveled" within the meaning of Hamdi;
  3. that he is a civilian not subject to military detention until the termination of hostilities;
  4. that he is entitled to due process, which has been denied him; and
  5. that the court has equitable authorities to order him freed.

He also filed a supplemental document at the time of his petition alleging that the CIA had withheld medical treatment from him for a serious injury over a protracted period of time.

The government, unsurprisingly, has a somewhat different view of the matter. You can see how the Defense Department described Duran, whom it used to call "Dourad" and now calls "Guleed Hassan Ahmed," at the time of his transfer to Guantanamo on page 14 of this document. More recently, Duran has gone through the Periodic Review Board process, which concluded just prior to the filing of the habeas case:

The Periodic Review Board, by consensus, determined that continued law of war detention of the detainee remains necessary to protect against a continuing significant threat to the security of the United States. In making this determination, the Board considered the detainee's long history with al-Qa'ida as well as providing logistical and operational support to al-Qa'ida in East Africa (AQEA) leaders, including casing Camp Lemonier in Djibouti, the target of an AQEA plot. Additionally, the Board noted that the detainee minimized his role in assisting AQEA, the lack of specificity and credibility in the detainee's responses to questions regarding a change in mindset, and the detainee's lack of candor regarding periods of noncom pliant behavior and anti-US statements while in detention. The Board recognizes the detainee's large family and its ability to support him as well as his presentation of reasonable thoughts on a plan for supporting himself. The Board looks forward to reviewing the detainee's file in six months and encourages him to be more candid about his past and current mindset.

Fuller PRB records for Duran include his Guantanamo Detainee Profile, the statement of his personal representative, and the transcript of his public hearing.

Here's the habeas petition:

And here's the supplement: