On January 11, 2018, the Guantánamo Bay prison turned 16. The prison has now spanned three administrations and five presidential terms. Forty men remain detained at Guantánamo. All but one has been imprisoned for more than a decade, and the overwhelming majority of prisoners have not been charged with any crime.
Donald Trump has already demonstrated his hostility towards Muslims and his impetuous policy-making in the name of national security with initiatives like the Muslim Ban. Unlike his predecessors, not only has Trump not committed to working to close the prison, but he boasts that he will transfer new terror suspects to the island prison.
On January 11, 2018, CCR and co-counsel filed the first major challenge to Trump’s Guantánamo policies, in federal court in Washington, DC. This collective filing is on behalf of eleven prisoners who are detained without charge, all for more than a decade. In this court filing, we argue that the petitioners’ perpetual detentions violate the Constitution and the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) and are undergirded by the president’s executive hubris and anti-Muslim animus. We have asked the court to intervene on behalf of the men who have been deemed “forever prisoners.” In August, Judge Leon issued a decision denying the motion on behalf of Saeed Bakhouch (aka Abdul Razak Ali). The motion is currently pending for the other ten petitioners.
Key Filings and Policy Statements
- Motion for Order Granting Writ of Habeas Corpus (January 11, 2018) and CCR Press Release
- Court Order re: Scheduling the Trump Administration's Response (January 18, 2018) and CCR Press Statement
- Amicus Briefs: Muslim and Interfaith Groups, Due Process Scholars, Center for Victims of Torture
- January 30, 2018 Presidential Executive Order and CCR Press Statement
- Government Opposition to Motion (February 16, 2018)
- Reply Brief in Support of Motion for Order (March 9, 2018)
- CCR Press Statement on transfer of Al Darbi (May 2, 2018)
- Order Granting Oral Argument (May 15, 2018)
- Motion for Live Audio Access to Oral Argument (June 26, 2018); Government Opposition (July 2, 2018)
- Profiles for Sharqawi Al Hajj, Saeed Bakhouch, Towfiq Bihani, Abdul Latif Nasser, Abdul Malik Bajabu, Ahmed Rabbani
Select Media Coverage
- Editorial: Donald Trump vs. Guantánamo’s Forever Prisoners (New York Times)
- Op-ed by CCR Legal Director Baher Azmy, Trump’s anti-Muslim bigotry clarifies Guantanamo Bay’s awfulness (Slate)
- Op-ed by CCR client Sharqawi Al Hajj, Will I Die at Guantanamo Bay? 15 Years Without Charges, I Deserve Justice (Newsweek)
- Op-Ed by CCR Senior Staff Attorney Pardiss Kebriaei: My Client Has Spent More Than a Third of His Life Imprisoned in Guantánamo (The Nation)
- Op-ed by Advocacy Program Manager Aliya Hussain, 9/11’s Anniversary Means 17 Years Since the Guantánamo Prison Opened (Teen Vogue)