Some Good News from Guantánamo

Last week the government informed CCR client Mohammed Kamin that the Periodic Review Board (PRB) has cleared him for release following the August 18 PRB hearing in which Senior Managing Attorney Shayana Kadidal argued for his release. Mohammed had been one of the so-called “forever detainees” designated for indefinite detention, men whom the government has not cleared for release but also never intends to charge or try. CCR and others working to close Guantánamo believe that picking up the pace of PRB reviews is one of the key elements to closing Guantánamo before President Obama leaves office, and we have taken on several new clients to help them with their PRB processes.

A handwritten note from Kamin to his CCR attorney, Shayana Kadidal.

A handwritten note from Mohammed Kamin to his CCR attorney, Shayana Kadidal.

Of course, the bitter reality of Guantánamo is that dozens of men “cleared for release” have been so designated for years and still languish there. This includes several CCR clients: Fahd Ghazy, Mohammed al-Hamiri, Tariq Ba Odah, and most recently Ghaleb Al-Bihani. With your steadfast support, we have been working relentlessly for their release through every imaginable avenue.

We will be in court this week – Thursday, October 15, in Washington, DC – in our effort to free Tariq. In June, CCR filed a motion seeking a court order granting his habeas petition and compelling the government to facilitate his immediate release on humanitarian grounds. Tariq has been on a hunger strike since February 2007 to protest his continued illegitimate and the illegal detention. He weighs only 74 lbs. – 56 percent of his ideal body weight – a weight that experts say puts him “on the precipice of death.” Despite all this, and despite the fact that he has been cleared for release since 2009, the government nonetheless chose to oppose our motion. Over the summer, as the government asked for one extension after another for filing their response, Tariq’s case made major headlines and came to be seen as the ultimate test of Obama’s will to make real his promise to close Guantánamo.

~ taken from Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) Frontlines of Justice weekly newsletter, October 2015

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