Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Another sad case of our inhumanity.....but at least the Judge saw through it....

Yemeni psych patient ordered freed from Guantánamo



A federal judge ordered the immediate release of a Yemeni man who has spent long periods of captivity in the Guantánamo psych ward in split decisions Wednesday that upheld the indefinite detention of another Yemeni.

The U.S. District Court rulings left the so-called habeas corpus scorecard of government-detainee wins at 15-38. That means that judges have ruled more than twice as often for the release of detainees at Guantánamo, rather than holding them.

Judge Reggie Walton ruled for the government that it can continue to hold Abdul-Rahman Sulayman, 31, picked up in Pakistan and handed over to U.S. troops in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Chicago attorney Thomas P. Sullivan said he would soon travel to the remote U.S. Navy base in Cuba to consult with Sulayman.

In another court, Judge Henry Kennedy Jr. granted the petition of Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif, 34, in a single page order that instructed the Obama administration to ``take all necessary and appropriate diplomatic steps to facilitate Latif's release forthwith.'' He also ordered Justice Department lawyers to report back by Aug. 20.

Latif's attorney, David Remes, has long described the man as despairing and suicidal -- covering himself in excrement, throwing blood at the lawyer, consuming shards of metal.

Both judge's decisions were under seal Wednesday, classified for a security review, so their reasonings were not immediately known.

Of Latif, Remes said, ``This is a mentally disturbed man who has said from the beginning that he went to Afghanistan seeking medical care because he was too poor to pay for it. Finally, a court has recognized that he's been telling the truth, and ordered his release.''

Remes also urged the Obama administration to lift its moratorium on repatriations to the turbulent Arabian Gulf nation of Yemen, and not appeal the Latif decision.

``He said conditions at Guantánamo are what had driven him to these extremes. He's languished so long it would be a crime to keep him incarcerated there,'' he said.

A Justice Department spokesman, Dean Boyd, said lawyers were reviewing Kennedy's decision to decide whether to appeal it. On Wednesday, there were 178 captives at Guantánamo.

Repatriated Algerian has gone missing.....

What a shock, huh?

Whereabouts of former US detainee unknown-lawyers

WASHINGTON, July 21 (Reuters) - A man who the Obama administration transferred against his will from the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba to his native Algeria has gone missing, a U.S.-based rights group involved in the case said on Wednesday.

The transfer of Abdul Aziz Naji to Algeria, announced by the Pentagon on Monday, brought the number of remaining detainees at Guantanamo to 178, down from 245 when U.S. President Barack Obama took office last year.

Naji's case has been closely watched because he is the first detainee to be involuntarily repatriated by the Obama administration, according to Human Rights Watch.

Naji, who has been held at Guantanamo since 2002, told his lawyers he did not want to return to Algeria because he feared persecution from the Algerian government and Islamist militants there.

The New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights, which represents many Guantanamo detainees, said Naji's lawyers and family have been unable to locate or contact him since he was repatriated by the U.S. government.

"His whereabouts and well-being in Algeria are currently unknown," it said in a statement. "Mr. Naji has disappeared since his return to Algeria, and is presumably being held in secret detention by Algerian state security forces."

Pardiss Kebriaei, a lawyer with the center, said: "We know that he's been transferred. But as for where he is ... we don't know. It's very concerning."

Other former detainees sent to Algeria were taken into custody for questioning by authorities upon their return but subsequently released, rights groups say.

The U.S. government had alleged that Naji belonged to the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group in Pakistan, but the Center for Constitutional Rights said he has "long been cleared of any connection with terrorism."

The Pentagon said the transfer was coordinated with the government of Algeria to ensure it took place under "appropriate security measures."

Before Naji's involuntarily return, 10 Algerians had agreed to go back, Human Rights Watch said.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley, speaking of the 10 repatriated to Algeria, said, "None, in our view, has appeared to be mistreated." (Reporting by Adam Entous; editing by Todd Eastham)

One Habeas win, one habeas loss

Today J. Kennedy ruled in favor of the habeas petition for Yemini, Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif, ISN 156 (congrats to the Covington Team).
Unfortunately Judge Walton today denied the habeas petition for Yemini, Abd Al Rathman Abdu Abu Al Ghayth Sulayman (ISN 223)
(condolences to Sulayman and his counsel... I am not sure who his counsel is.)

37 habeas wins, 15 losses and one loss vacated by the DC Circuit Court.