The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit [official website] on Friday threw out [opinion, PDF] a lawsuit by former Guantanamo detainee Mohammed Jawad claiming he was tortured. The appeals court affirmed the district court in refusing to hear the merits of the case because of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA) [text, PDF], which removes the court’s jurisdiction over cases arising from the detention of someone who was given enemy combatant status. Similar cases to Jawad’s have also been thrown out based on the MCA.
A US Senator last week released a Pentagon Report [JURIST report] detailing the profiles of those currently detained in and recently released from the Guantanamo Bay detention center. Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) concluded that closing the facility would not be in the US’ best interests and would pose a safety risk. White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough told Fox News in January that US President Barack Obama intends to fulfill [JURIST report] his promise to close the Guantanamo detention facility before leaving office. There have been multiple detainees released [JURIST report] from Guantanamo recently. Last November the US Senate passed [JURIST report] the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 (NDAA), which prohibits Guantanamo detainees from being transferred into the US. Obama signed the bill into law, despite the fact that it could delay his plan to close the prison. The NDAA comes after the Department of Defense said [JURIST report] they were sending teams to review three Colorado prisons as part of Obama’s efforts to close the facility in October. The Guantanamo Review Task Force (GRTF) was created in response to a 2009 presidential executive order [text, PDF] to review the status of all detainees. In September White House Spokesperson Josh Earnest said Obama was considering a “wide array” of options [JURIST report] for closing the prison.