Detention & Guantanamo

Joseph Scozzari / Ben Balter (background)

As both a candidate and as president, Barack Obama repeatedly expressed his desire to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The facility and its role in the military's detention operations have been deeply controversial from the beginning of the war against Al Qaeda. Timelines for closing the facility have come and gone, yet the administration has been stymied by legislation that has made the task extremely difficult. Detention has been litigated up and down the federal appellate ladder. And as criminal trials have begun for some of the inmates in military commissions, the legal questions surrounding their detention and treatment have only gotten thornier.

Latest in Detention & Guantanamo

Documents

D.C. Circuit to Hear Oral Arguments in Guantanamo Case

The D.C. Circuit will hear oral arguments on December 11 in Ali v. Trump. Abdul Razak Ali, who has been detained at Guantanamo for over 17 years, had petitioned for an initial en banc hearing before the D.C. Circuit but that request was denied. Ali seeks relief under the Due Process Clause for his continued detention at Guantanamo.

Detention & Guantanamo

Due Process for Guantanamo Detainees: The D.C. Circuit Rules in Qassim

On June 21, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit returned to the question of the constitutional rights possessed by the detainees remaining at the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. In particular, Khalid Ahmed Qassim asserted a Fifth Amendment due process right to see the classified information that allegedly supports his detention.

Documents

D.C. Circuit Overrules District Court's Due Process Ruling in Qasim v. Trump

On Friday, the D.C. Circuit ruled in Qasim v. Trump that circuit precedent in Kiyemba v. Obama does not preclude Guantanamo detainees from claiming procedural due process violations. The ruling reverses the district court's ruling below and remands the case for consideration on the merits of the claim. The ruling is below.

Detention & Guantanamo

Document: Habeas Petition of Guantanamo Detainee Denied

In an opinion signed on Jan. 28 and released in redacted form on Mar. 15, Judge Royce C. Lambeth of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia denied a petition for a writ of habeas corpus from Abdulsalam Ali Abdulrahman al-Hela, a Yemeni citizen captured in Afghanistan in 2002 and detained at Guantanmo Bay since 2004. The full opinion is available here and below.

Detention & Guantanamo

Who Broke Periodic Review at Guantanamo Bay?

The Periodic Review Board (PRB) appears to be broken. Since President Trump’s inauguration 21 months ago, the PRB—often described as a parole-like body established to determine whether an individual may be transferred from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay—has become a one-way ratchet, only ratifying continued detention and never recommending release. This is not to say the PRB has recommended continued detention for all the detainees whose cases it has reviewed since February 2017.

Detention & Guantanamo

Documents: Saifullah Paracha v. Donald J. Trump

The government has filed a brief in opposition before the Supreme Court regarding Saifullah Paracha's petition for a writ of certiorari over whether certain statutory restrictions regarding the release or transfer of Guantanamo detainees constitute bills of attainder. Paracha, a Pakistani national who has been detained at Guantanamo Bay since 2004, initially filed his petition on Sept. 26, 2017 after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C.

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