USA: Still failing human rights in the name of global

January 20, 2010

USA: Still failing human rights in the name of global

The Court is particularly concerned that the interrogators at Guantánamo relied on, or had access to, Petitioner’s coerced confessions from Afghanistan. The logical inference from the record is that the initial interrogators reviewed Petitioner’s coerced confessions from Afghanistan with him and asked him to make identical confessions. Far from being insulated from his coerced confessions, his Guantánamo confessions were thus derived from them…


Petitioner’s confinement at Guantánamo did not occur in a vacuum. Before Guantánamo, he had endured forty days of solitary confinement, severe physical and mental abuse, malnourishment, sensory deprivation, anxiety and insomnia. The Government fails to establish that months of less-coercive circumstances provide sufficient insulation from forty days of extreme coercive conditions…


That the Government continued to drink from the same poisoned well does not thereby make the water clean”.


Judge Hogan ruled that all 23 interrogation reports and summaries were unreliable. However, he ruled that statements made by Musa’ab Al Madhwani to the Combatant Status Review Tribunal (CSRT) in September 2004 and to the Administrative Review Board (ARB) in December 2005 could be relied upon.12


With no reliable direct evidence presented by the government in a case “largely dependent” on the detainee’s statements, Judge Hogan said he was forced to base his decision “on a severely truncated body of evidence”. In a decision he described as “a very close case”, Judge Hogan said that the government had proved by a “preponderance of the evidence”, based on Al Madhwani’s statements to the CSRT and ARB, that the detainee had “trained, travelled, and associated with al-Qaida members” in Afghanistan and Pakistan in 2001 and 2002. As such, under existing US law, the government could continue to detain him on the grounds that he was “a part of” al-Qa’ida. It remains unclear whether the implication of such a finding under current US domestic law is that government can now under its sole discretion detain him without criminal trial until death.


Judge Hogan did not leave the matter there, however. He effectively questioned why Musa’ab Al Madhwani should not be released. In his ruling on 6 January, he wrote: