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The Shocking Stories of the Sudanese Humanitarian Aid Workers Just Released From Guantánamo

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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 12:14 PM
Original message
The Shocking Stories of the Sudanese Humanitarian Aid Workers Just Released From Guantánamo
Edited on Fri Dec-14-07 12:21 PM by seemslikeadream
http://www.andyworthington.co.uk /



Adel Hassan Hamad and Salim Muhood Adem, after their release. Photo © Mohamed Nureldin Abdalla, Reuters.


Two years after being cleared for release from Guantánamo by a military review board, Adel Hassan Hamad, a Sudanese hospital administrator who worked for a Saudi charity, and Salim Muhood Adem, who worked with orphans for a Kuwaiti NGO, have been repatriated to the country of their birth, where, as lawyer Clive Stafford Smith explained, they are both “safe with their families.”

After arriving at Khartoum airport, they were presented with traditional Sudanese clothes by intelligence officers, who took them to a hospital for a short medical examination before returning them to their families and friends. As a noisy celebration got underway, Adel Hamad spoke by phone to his American lawyers, Steve Wax and William Teesdale of the Federal Public Defender’s office in Oregon. “I thank God almighty and express my gratefulness to you,” he said. “I can finally see the light after the darkness.”

If the administration was hoping to lie low for a while, and weather the recent torrent of criticism over its post-9/11 detention policies – in the Supreme Court, in connection with the destruction of CIA videotapes chronicling the torture of detainees, and through its generally inept attempts to pursue war crimes trials at Guantánamo itself – the release of these men will provide no comfort whatsoever, as their stories highlight some of the most egregious flaws in the whole of Guantánamo’s sordid history.

Adel Hamad, who is now 49 years old, had been living in Pakistan and working for charity organizations for 17 years. Captured at his home in July 2002, after returning from a holiday in Sudan with his wife and four children, he refuted an allegation that he had any kind of connection to al-Qaeda, telling his tribunal in Guantánamo, “I hate them and I pray to God not to let people among the Muslims carry their ideas.” He also pointed out, “If I was a member in al-Qaeda or if I had an association with them I would’ve not travelled in June 2002 to Sudan with my family on an annual vacation and after the vacation ended I voluntarily returned to Pakistan. If I was a criminal, with association to those criminals, why would I return to Pakistan knowing that Pakistani intelligence was arresting al-Qaeda members?”







DEAD BECAUSE OF A LIE
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burythehatchet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 12:16 PM
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1. The Karmic wheel grinds slowly but surely.
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 12:18 PM
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2. What Happened? Guantánamo and the Supreme Court
Edited on Fri Dec-14-07 12:38 PM by seemslikeadream
http://www.counterpunch.org/worthington12142007.html

By ANDY WORTHINGTON

Last Wednesday's Supreme Court showdown over Guantánamo was billed as "probably the most important habeas corpus case in modern history," according to Law.com, and "the most important civil liberties case of the past 50 years," according to the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). This was no understatement. At stake was the validity of the administration's novel contention, first formulated in November 2001, that it can seize foreigners anywhere in the world, designate them as "enemy combatants" -- rather than as criminals or prisoners of war -- and hold them indefinitely, without charge or trial.

The very fact that the Supreme Court was discussing the detainees' rights at all was, in itself, astonishing. Three and a half years ago, in June 2004, the Court ruled in Rasul v. Bush that Guantánamo -- chosen as a base for the prison because it was presumed to be beyond the reach of the US courts -- was "in every practical respect a United States territory," and that the detainees had the right to challenge the basis of their detention, under the terms of the 800-year old "Great Writ" of habeas corpus, which prohibits the suspension of prisoners' rights to challenge the basis of their detention except in "cases of rebellion or invasion."

In spite of this ruling, the detainees were not granted impartial hearings in a US court. Instead, they were subjected to military reviews at Guantánamo -- the Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRTs) -- which were a lamentable replacement for a valid judicial challenge. Although the detainees were allowed to present their own version of the events that led up to their capture, they were not allowed legal representation, and were subjected to secret evidence that they were unable to see or challenge.

In June this year, Lt. Col. Stephen Abraham, a veteran of US intelligence, who worked on the CSRTs, delivered a damning verdict on their legitimacy, condemning them as the administrative equivalent of show trials, reliant upon generalized and often "generic" evidence, and designed to rubber-stamp the detainees' prior designation as "enemy combatants." Filed as an affidavit in Al Odah v. United States, one of the cases considered by the Supreme Court last week, Lt. Col. Abraham's testimony was regarded, by legal experts, as the trigger that spurred the Supreme Court, which had rejected an appeal on behalf of the detainees in April, to reverse its decision (an event so rare that it last happened 60 years ago) and to agree to hear the cases.





DEAD BECAUSE OF A LIE
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LakeSamish706 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 12:18 PM
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3. Damn, we need to get to the end of this long road and get these...
criminals the hell out of the WH and behind bars where they all belong.
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-14-07 12:23 PM
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4. Recommended.
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