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Federal judge upholds detention of Yemeni Guantanamo inmate

A judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] on Friday denied [opinion, PDF] a petition for writ of habeas corpus of a Yemeni man currently detained at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive]. Judge Ricardo Urbina held that the government proved by a preponderance of the evidence that Mashour Abdullah Muqbel Alsabri was a part of and provided material support to the Taliban, al Qaeda [JURIST news archive] or associated enemy forces. The court found that the petitioner traveled to Afghanistan to fight with the Taliban or al Qaeda, stayed at Taliban or al Qaeda guesthouses, received military training at an al Qaeda facility, traveled to the battle lines and was captured during armed conflict. Furthermore, the court found no evidence that the petitioner dissociated with these enemy forces at any point prior to his capture. These findings taken together, the court said, support the government's contention that the petitioner was lawfully detained. The petitioner was arrested in 2002 and filed his habeas corpus petition in October 2006.

Federal courts have struggled with habeas corpus rights for Guantanamo detainees. In September, Kuwaiti Guantanamo detainee Fawzi Khalid Abdullah Fahad al Odah [JURIST news archive] petitioned [text, PDF; JURIST report] the US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] to reverse a federal appeals court decision that denied him habeas corpus relief. The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit [official website] denied [text, PDF; JURIST report] habeas corpus relief to al Odah in July. The court affirmed the district court's ruling [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] that there was sufficient evidence against al Odah for him to be considered "part of" al Qaeda and Taliban forces. In August, the US District Court for the District of Columbia released a partially redacted opinion [text, PDF] ordering the release [JURIST report] of Yemeni Guantanamo Bay detainee Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif [NYT profile] for lack of evidence.

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