The Face of Indefinite Detention
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of New York Times
Posted: September 25th, 2012
Before he died on Sept. 8, Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif had spent close to 4,000 days and nights in the American prison at Guantnamo Bay, Cuba. He was found unconscious, alone in his cell, thousands of miles from home and family in Yemen. Like so many men still imprisoned at Guantnamo, Mr. Latif was fleeing American bombing - not fighting - when he was apprehended by the Pakistani police near the Afghan border and turned over to the United States military. He was never charged with a crime. The United States government claims the legal authority to hold men like Mr. Latif until the "war on terror" ends, which is to say, forever. Setting aside this troubling legal proposition, his death and the despair he endured in the years preceding it remind us of the toll Guantnamo takes on human beings. Adnan Latif is the human face of indefinite detention. [In 2010] a United States District Court judge hearing Mr. Latifs habeas corpus petition ordered him released, ruling that the accusations against him were "unconvincing" and that his detention was "not lawful." By that time, Mr. Latif had been cleared for release from Guantnamo on three separate occasions, including in 2009 by the Obama administrations multiagency Guantnamo Review Task Force. Nevertheless, the Department of Justice appealed the district courts decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit - which has ruled in the governments favor in nearly every habeas corpus appeal it has heard.
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