Guantánamo enemy combatants claim Trump’s ‘anti-Muslim bias’ fuels their detention

Guantánamo enemy combatants claim Trump’s ‘anti-Muslim bias’ fuels their detention


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Not jihad slaughter. Not sharia-based savagery. Not the murder of our soldiers and citizens. Anti-Muslim bias, that’s what keeps these savages locked up.

And that is accordance with their savage teachings, If you don’t convert, you must be conquered. An opposition to Islam is anti-Muslim bias.

These devout savages attack, throw their urines and feces at the guards while we provide them with qurans, prayer mats, and a soccer field.

The number of former Guantanamo detainees suspected of ‘returning to the fight’ has doubled.

Guantánamo inmates claim Trump’s ‘anti-Muslim bias’ fuels their detention

Ed Pilkington in New York, The Guardian, January 11, 2018:

Eleven Guantánamo inmates are challenging their indefinite detention in the US military camp in Cuba on grounds that Donald Trump’s defiant pledge to keep all remaining detainees permanently locked up is fuelled by hostility towards Muslims.

The inmate’s petition, filed on Thursday in a federal court in Washington, falls on the 16th anniversary of the arrival of the first 20 detainees to Guantánamo. The prisoners were brought in shackles from Afghanistan on 11 January 2002 dressed in distinctive orange jumpsuits.

Some of the petitioners in the new filing have themselves been held on the Cuban base almost since the beginning; others have been detained for 10 years. None of them has ever been charged, and all know that unless the courts intervene they could remain in their cells until they die.

In a memorable phrase, they say that “the aura of forever hangs heavier than ever”.

At the heart of the legal petition is the claim that President Trump has taken a radically new approach towards the treatment of the 41 prisoners who remain at Guantánamo. The inmates argue that his stance is defiant in spirit, arbitrary in nature, and fueled by his “suspicion and antipathy” towards Muslims.

The petitioners quote medical experts who have compared the prolonged indefinite imprisonment at Guantánamo to sensory deprivation and psychological torture. “Prisoners are medicated for depression and anxiety brought on by acute despair.”

The inmates are basing their challenge on two legal points. They claim that indiscriminate indefinite detention is illegal under the due process clause of the US constitution.

The second argument is that the justification for never-ending detention under the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) was that it was needed to prevent committed enemies of the US returning to the battlefield. But the petitioners claim that justification has begun to unravel.

On the campaign trail Trump said of Guantánamo that he would “load it up with some bad dudes”.

Shortly before his inauguration he pledged in a tweet to block any further releases on grounds that all the 41 were “extremely dangerous people”.

That threat has come to pass. Pardiss Kebriaei, a lawyer with the Center for Constitutional Rights who represents one of the petitioners, Sharqawi Al Hajj of Yemen, who has been detained for 15 years, said that all moves towards release have ground to a halt since Trump came in.

“There’s nothing happening. It’s an entirely static situation, and that kind of indefinite detention without charge is intolerable, it cannot be allowed to continue,” she said.

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