Detention & Guantanamo

USG Drops Opposition to Granting the Writ in GTMO Habeas Case

By Wells Bennett
Wednesday, October 2, 2013, 8:33 PM

That is the gist of this quite important filing, made today by the Justice Department, in the case of Idris v. Obama.  It begins:

Respondents respectfully submit this response to Petitioner’s Motion for Judgment on His Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus (“Petitioner’s Motion”). Dkt. No. 270.1 As explained below, Respondents hereby withdraw their reliance upon the amended factual return that they have filed in this case in response to the Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus, and, accordingly, Respondents do not oppose the Court’s issuance of the writ of habeas corpus. A proposed order is submitted herewith.

Lawyers for the petitioner, a Sudanese national, had made a motion for judgment in June, and argued, among other things:

Pursuant to the Supreme Court decision in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, Respondents may only detain Petitioner for the purpose of preventing him from returning to the battlefield. Petitioner’s long-term severe mental illness and physical illnesses make it virtually impossible for him to engage in hostilities were he to be released, and both domestic law and international law of war explicitly state that if a detainee is so ill that he cannot return to the battlefield, he should be repatriated. When interpreted in accordance with domestic law and the principles of international law, the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (“AUMF”) does not permit the continued detention of Mr. Idris. His petition for a writ of habeas corpus should be granted and Respondents should be ordered to take all necessary and appropriate diplomatic steps to facilitate his immediate repatriation to Sudan.

Carol Rosenberg, of The Miami Herald, has more background on the petitioner, and his recent court filings, here.