Published on 26 Dec 2011 by Euronews - Gilles Devers, you are the spokesman for a group of lawyers who, in 2009, filed a complaint of war crimes against Israeli officers with the International Criminal Court. Since then, what progress has there been?
Regular readers will know that the Guantánamo prisoners’ habeas corpus petitions led to the release of 26 prisoners between December 2008 and January 2011, providing confirmation that the US courts were able to address mistakes made by the Bush administration in rounding up “detainees” in its “War on Terror,” to expose those mistakes, and even to provide a remedy for them by securing the release of prisoners who should never have been held.
Last year, however, the D.C. Circuit Court — dominated by right-wingers, including Senior Judge A. Raymond Randolph, notorious for supporting every piece of Guantánamo-related legislation that was later overturned by the Supreme Court — began to fight back, pushing the lower courts to accept that very little in the way of evidence was required to justify detentions.
I have long railed against the inability of the executive, lawmakers or the judiciary to address the built-in problems of detention policies in the “War on Terror” — the Bush administration’s dreadful decision to equate the Taliban with al-Qaeda, thereby ensuring that both soldiers and terror suspects were held as interchangeable “detainees” at Guantánamo, and continue to be held as such.
This remains a huge problem, almost entirely ignored by the mainstream media in the US, although it is matched by the media’s lack of interest in what has happened since the D.C. Circuit Court began to dictate detainee policy, even though that has led to success for the government on every appeal, with the Circuit Court reversing or vacating the lower courts’ rulings in six habeas petitions, and has also led to the last eight habeas petitions (since July last year) being refused (see here, here, here, here and here for the evidence).
One of the prisoners who won his petition, but remains held while the government appeals, is Ravil Mingazov, a citizen of the former Soviet Union, whose story I told in detail when his habeas petition was granted by Judge Henry H. Kennedy Jr, in May 2010, in an article entitled, “Judge Orders Release from Guantánamo of Russian Caught in Abu Zubaydah’s Web.”
One of Ravil’s lawyers, Allison M. Lefrak, who is the litigation director at Human Rights USA, described as “a nonprofit organization in Washington working to bring US laws in line with universal human rights standards,” recently wrote an article for the National Law Journal, describing the lack of progress in Ravil’s case, and her most recent visit to see him in Guantánamo.