Eleven Guantánamo inmates filed a writ of habeas corpus [text, PDF] in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] on Thursday claiming that their indefinite detention is due to President Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim stance.
The inmates argue they can only be kept at Guantánamo if their individual circumstances show that they would return to the battlefield. However, the lawsuit claims that Trump’s declaration that all Guantánamo inmates will remain in the prison does not take into account any of their individual circumstances, but instead is based on Trump’s antipathy towards Muslims.
Some of the petitioners have been at Guantánamo for the entirety of its 16 years in use. Two of the prisoners were in the process of being released under the Obama administration, but their releases were not finalized. The Trump administration has stopped the release process for these inmates.
The petition states that the detentions of the prisoners violates the due process clause of the Constitution, claiming that the detentions violate duration limits on detention, preponderance of the evidence is not sufficient for indefinite detention, and the continued detention of the inmates who were declared by the government to ready for transfer is arbitrary and senseless.
Guantanamo has seen ongoing litigation regarding its detention of prisoners since its inception. Four detainees were released [JURIST report] on the final day of Obama’s administration on January 20, 2017. On January 18, 2017, a district court had refused [JURIST report] to intervene when the Defense Department overruled a government review board that declared another prisoner was cleared to be released. A 100-cell section of Guantanamo Bay known as Camp 5 was shut down [JURIST report] in September 2016 after all inmates were transferred to other areas of Guantanamo Bay.