For Immediate Release
Will Matthews, (646) 233-9572 or (212) 549-2666; firstname.lastname@example.org
Government Seeks To Continue Detaining Mohammed Jawad At Guantánamo Despite Lack Of Evidence
Torture Obtained Statements Already Rejected
NEW YORK - After
admitting to a federal judge that Guantánamo detainee and American
Civil Liberties Union client Mohammed Jawad had been tortured and
illegally detained for nearly seven years, the Obama administration
today asked the court for permission to continue to detain Jawad while
it decides whether to bring a criminal case against him. The request,
filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, comes after
U.S. District Court Judge Ellen S. Huvelle berated government lawyers
last week for their inadequate case against Jawad.
Last fall, a military judge in
Jawad's Guantánamo military commission proceeding threw out the bulk of
the evidence against him finding that it was obtained through torture.
Despite that ruling, the Obama administration continued to rely on
those same statements in Jawad's habeas corpus challenge before Judge
Huvelle until last week when it said it would no longer rely on that
evidence. The Afghan Attorney General recently sent a letter to the
U.S. government demanding Jawad's return and suggesting he was as young
as 12 when he was captured in Afghanistan and illegally rendered from
that country nearly seven years ago.
Following his 2002 arrest in
Afghanistan for allegedly throwing a grenade at two U.S. soldiers and
their interpreter, Jawad was subjected to repeated torture and other
mistreatment and to a systematic program of harsh and highly coercive
interrogations designed to break him physically and mentally. Jawad
tried to commit suicide in his cell by slamming his head repeatedly
against the wall.
The following can be attributed to
Jonathan Hafetz, a staff attorney with the ACLU National Security
Project and lawyer for Mohammed Jawad:
"The government's case failed in the
Guantánamo military commission hearings and failed in the habeas corpus
proceedings before a federal court, and now – knowing that its case
would most likely be dismissed – the government is trying to take a
third bite at a rotten apple. This is a pathetic attempt to prolong an
outrageous case and to manipulate the court system. This travesty of
justice has gone on long enough, and Jawad should be sent home."
The following can be attributed to U.S. Air Force Major David Frakt, co-counsel for Jawad:
"It is astonishing that even after
conceding that the bulk of the evidence against Mr. Jawad was obtained
through torture, the government is even considering proceeding with its
bankrupt case. It is long past time to return Jawad home to his native
Afghanistan in the face of the absence of any evidence against him."
Additional information about Jawad's case is available online at: www.aclu.org/jawad
For a copy of the transcript from last week's court hearing, contact the ACLU at the numbers above.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) conserves America's original civic values working in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in the United States by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.