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Federal judge dismisses Guantanamo habeas petition

[JURIST] Judge John Bates of the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] on Friday dismissed without prejudice [memorandum and order, PDF] a petition for habeas corpus filed on behalf of a Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee after the detainee refused to meet with his appointed counsel to authorize the petition. The court dismissed the petition, which was filed in 2006 on behalf of Muieen Adeen Jamal Adeen Abd Al Fusal Abd Al Sattar by Sami al Hajj as "next friend," based on a 2008 order requiring "next friend" habeas petitions to be authorized and signed by the the detainee on whose behalf the petition was filed. The order gave lawyers 10 days from their second meeting with a detainee to obtain such an authorization. According to the opinion, Al Sattar refused to meet with his appointed lawyer all five times the lawyer attempted to meet with him, tore up a letter from the lawyer asking for a meeting, and threatened Guantanamo personnel when they attempted to arrange a meeting. Bates ruled that Al Sattar was unwilling, rather than unable, to authorize the petition on his behalf, and therefore dismissed the petition.

Earlier this month, a judge in the same court dismissed [JURIST report] a detainee's habeas petition for similar reasons. Last month, a judge denied [JURIST report] the habeas petition of Algerian Guantanamo Bay detainee Sufiyan Barhoumi, bringing the total number of government victories to eight, while 30 detainees' habeas petitions have been granted. Also in September, a judge granted [JURIST report] the habeas petition of detainee Fouad Al Rabiah, ordering his release.

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