Federal judge grants <i>habeas</i> petition of Yemeni Guantanamo detainee

Federal judge grants habeas petition of Yemeni Guantanamo detainee

[JURIST] A judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] on Wednesday granted [order, PDF] a habeas corpus petition filed by Yemeni Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainee Yasin Muhammed Basardh, ordering his release from the prison. His detention came under exclusive review of the court after a panel for the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit [official website] suspended [text, PDF; JURIST report] its consideration of his case in light of the 2008 Supreme Court [official website] decision in Boumediene v. Bush [Duke Law backgrounder; JURIST archive], which it said gave the District Court sole jurisdiction over the matter. Justifications for Basardh's release were kept classified. The US government was ordered "to take all necessary and appropriate diplomatic steps to facilitate the release of petitioner Basardh forthwith."

The order comes after a Tuesday stay of proceedings [JURIST report] against fellow Yemeni detainee Ayman Saeed Batarfi and follows a call by Human Rights Watch (HRW) [advocacy website] on Sunday for the US and Yemen [JURIST news archive] to agree on a repatriation plan that provides "meaningful legal process" for the nearly 100 Yemeni detainees still at Guantanamo Bay. The repatriation plan dates back to July 2008, when Yemeni officials met with a visiting US delegation [JURIST report] to discuss the possible transfer of Yemeni detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, with the US voicing concerns that they would be freed upon their return. The stay of proceedings against Batarfi follows a January executive order [text; JURIST report] from US President Barack Obama [official profile] directing the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility within one year and a review and disposition of all individuals held at the facility.