A judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] on Wednesday ordered the release of Yemeni Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee Mohammed Hassen [NYT profile]. Hassen had been initially detained [Miami Herald report] in March 2002 following a raid in Faisalabad by Pakistani security forces. He has maintained throughout his detention that he had traveled to Pakistan to study the Qur'an [text] at Salafi University and had no knowledge of al Qaeda [GlobalSecurity backgrounder] prior to his detention. Hassen is the third detainee captured in this raid to be released. The court opinion remains classified.
The ruling brings the number of Guantanamo detainees who have prevailed in habeas corpus proceedings [JURIST news archive] in federal court to 36. The government has prevailed in only 14 cases. Earlier this month, a federal judge ordered the release [JURIST report] of Russian Guantanamo Bay detainee Ravil Mingazov [NYT profile]. In March, the DC court denied the habeas petition of Yemeni Guantanamo Bay detainee Makhtar Yahia Naji al Warafi [NYT materials] on its merits, allowing the US government to prolong the detention indefinitely. In late February, a DC judge ruled that the government can continue to hold indefinitely [JURIST report] two Yemeni Guantanamo Bay detainees, even though Fahmi Salem Al-Assani and Suleiman Awadh Bin Agil Al-Nahdi [orders, PDF] had been cleared for release by the Bush administration two years ago.