New Guantánamo Habeas Case Breaks Legal Ground
In our efforts to do everything possible to close Guantánamo, CCR has taken on another new case. Muhammadi Davliatov was detained in 2002, never charged with any crime, and cleared for release in 2009. Like dozens of others – including CCR clients Tariq Ba Odah, Fahd Ghazy, Ghaleb Al-Bihani, Mohammed Al Hamiri, and Mohammed Kamin – Muhammadi continues to languish unjustly and illegally in GITMO with no end in sight. In 2005, he filed a habeas petition challenging the legality of his detention, but when he was cleared for release, the court stayed his case – over his objection – because the government said he would be transferred expeditiously. That was in 2009. Now CCR along with co-counsel has filed a new habeas petition seeking Muhammadi’s release and challenging the government’s authority to continue to hold him on several grounds. The case was filed on November 5 but the motion was made public only last week; the government had insisted it be filed under seal.
We argue that the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) prohibits arbitrary detention and imposes a limit on the duration of his detention; that the Due Process Clause of the Constitution applies at Guantánamo and imposes a limit on the duration of his detention; that whatever detention authority may have existed at the time of his initial capture has since unraveled because of the changed nature of any ongoing hostilities; and that the court has the broad equitable power to fashion appropriate relief.
The Obama administration’s opposition to Muhammadi’s original habeas petition, like its opposition to Tariq’s release on humanitarian grounds, clearly illustrates that while Obama may want Guantánamo closed, he is unwilling to roll back the excesses of state power he inherited upon which the detention practices that constitute GITMO are constructed. ~
article & photo credit: Center for Constitutional Rights, “Frontlines of Justice” weekly newsletter, Dec. 2015