Challenging Trump’s Guantánamo

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.

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Last modified 

October 1, 2018