Latest In

News

Judge Orders Release of Prisoner Accused of Assisting Terrorists at Age 11

Is it better to be a child stuck indefinitely at the Guantanamo Bay prison, or to stand trial by military commission? Neither option sounds very good. But

Jul 31, 2020
48.4K Shares
881K Views
Is it better to be a child stuck indefinitely at the Guantanamo Bay prison, or to stand trial by military commission?
Neither option sounds very good. But the question is becoming more urgent these days, as the Bush administration brings military commission charges against detainees arrested when they were teenagers, and as I’ve written before, insists on submitting a child’s confession as evidence, even though the judge ruled it was elicited by torture.
But then there’s the case of Mohamed el-Gharani, who was arrested at a mosque in Pakistan when he was just 14-years-old and held at Gitmo every since. Yesterday, a federal judge in Washington hearing his habeas corpus petition ordered his release.
U.S. District Judge Richard Leon found no evidence to support the government’s claim that el-Gharani is a dangerous “enemy combatant.”
A Chadian national, the young teenager was arrested at a mosque in Pakistan in October 2001. This was a time of particular hysteria among American authorities, who accused el-Gharani of being a member of Al Qaeda in 1998 — when he was only 11-years-old.
According to a BBC report, the U.S. government claimed el-Gharani stayed at an Al Qaeda-affiliated guest house in Afghanistan, fought in the battle of Tora Bora after the United States invaded Afghanistan, and worked as a courier for senior Al Qaeda operatives.
But Leon found no evidence to support the government’s claims. He said U.S. officials had relied largely on information from two less-than-reliable detainees at the Guantanamo prison.
El-Gharani’s lawyers, from the British legal organization Reprieve, say there’s no evidence that their client ever even went to Afghanistan.
Leon is the same judge who in November ordered the releaseof five Algerians held at Gitmo, finding insufficient evidence to support holding them, either. Three of the men were releasedin December.
Hajra Shannon

Hajra Shannon

Reviewer
Hajra Shannona is a highly experienced journalist with over 9 years of expertise in news writing, investigative reporting, and political analysis. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from Columbia University and has contributed to reputable publications focusing on global affairs, human rights, and environmental sustainability. Hajra's authoritative voice and trustworthy reporting reflect her commitment to delivering insightful news content. Beyond journalism, she enjoys exploring new cultures through travel and pursuing outdoor photography
Latest Articles
Popular Articles