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Federal appeals court rules no jurisdiction in former Guantanamo detainee lawsuit

The US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit [official website] ruled [opinion, PDF] Monday that the Detainee Treatment Act [text] prevents the court from having jurisdiction over a former Guantanamo Bay [JURIST backgrounder] detainee's lawsuit for damages. Adel Hassan Hamad [JURIST news archive], a Sudanese national, was captured in 2002 and transferred to Guantanamo prior to an agreement an agreement to transfer him to Sudan in 2007. Hamad states that that he was wrongfully detained and subjected to torture while held and filed the lawsuit to seek damages stemming from his detention. The Ninth Circuit vacated the district court's orders and directed the district court to render a judgment dismissing the lawsuit. In 2011, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit [official website] ruled [JURIST report] that Hamad could not continue to litigate a habeas corpus petition and refused to order the government to rescind their designations as "enemy combatants."

Controversies surrounding Guantanamo Bay have been prevalent since the US began using it as a detention center in 2002 and have generated a great deal of criticism [JURIST op-ed]. Last Friday Judge Royce Lamberth for the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] ordered the release of Guantanamo Bay prisoner Ibrahim Idris [DOD backgrounder], who suffers from a severe mental illness. Earlier this month a military judge refused to suspend the pretrial hearings in a case against five Guantanamo Bay prisoners, despite computer system concerns [JURIST reports]. In September detainee Shaker Aamer [JURIST news archive] filed [JURIST report] a complaint against British security forces for delaying his scheduled release from Guantanamo. Days before it was announced [JURIST report] that there would no longer be daily updates on detainee hunger strikes. Earlier that month a federal judge ruled [JURIST report] that the US government did not have to release photographs and videotapes taken during the investigation of Mohammed al-Qahtani.

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