US to free Afghan captured as teen in 2002
David Savage; 31/7/09; (4 Items)
The Obama Administration has agreed to release from Guantanamo Bay an Afghan prisoner who was captured as a teenager and held for nearly seven years for allegedly throwing a grenade at US soldiers. The US Government said it would ‘‘promptly release’’ Mohammed Jawad, now 23, and send him to Afghanistan — but only after it sent a required notification to Congress explaining whether his release would pose a risk to national security. That would take 22 days, the Administration said. Of the more than 200 detainees who remain at Guantanamo Bay, some are being released and sent home while others are being held for trial. A third group has proved the most troublesome. They are believed to be too dangerous to release but cannot be tried because the evidence against them is tainted.
US orders Guantanamo inmate freed
A US judge has ordered the release of a person detained at the naval prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after declaring that he is being held illegally. Judge Ellen Huvelle on Thursday granted a “writ of habeas corpus” concerning Mohammed Jawad, whose lawyers say he was 12 years old when arrested in Afghanistan in 2002. She gave the US government until August 24 to complete a report to congress about any national security risks that Jawad may present, as well as to finalise diplomatic arrangements for his release.Ian Gershengorn, the US deputy assistant attorney general, told the judge that the US will negotiate with the government in Kabul with a view to sending Jawad to his home country.
Interview: Sami al-Hajj
Sami al-Hajj, an Al Jazeera cameraman who was arrested by Pakistani forces on the border with Afghanistan in December 2001 while covering the US-led invasion, says his captors knew they were working with faulty intelligence information. Al-Hajj was moved between Pakistani and Afghan detention centres before being flown out of the region and thrown into a grisly cell at the Guantanamo detention facility. He said he spent six years and seven months at Guantanamo because of an “error” and has accused the administration of George Bush, the former US president, of continuing to incarcerate him despite knowing they had the wrong man. Since his release, however, Al-Hajj says he is determined to use his plight to raise awareness of the conditions other inmates currently held at Guantanamo are facing and to pressure the US government for their release. Al-Hajj and other released detainees are expected to launch the Guantanamo Justice Centre (GJC), a non-profit organisation headquartered in Geneva, which aims to peacefully resolve the plight of those who remain in US custody.
Clinton acted ‘to suppress evidence’
US secretary of State Hillary Clinton intervened to suppress evidence of CIA collusion in the torture of a British resident, the High Court in London has heard. The dramatic turn emerged as lawyers for Binyam Mohamed, the British resident abused in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Morocco and Guantanamo Bay, joined by lawyers for various media groups, asked the court to order the disclosure of a seven-paragraph summary of what the CIA knew, and what it told MI5 (the British security service) and MI6 (the secret intelligence service), about the treatment of Mr Mohamed. The judges hearing the case, have said the summary contains nothing that could be described as ‘‘highly sensitive classified US intelligence’’.