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Sunday, May 26, 2024 | Back issues
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Detainee’s Torture Claims Don’t Merit Release Order

WASHINGTON (CN) - The D.C. Circuit revoked the order to release a Yemeni detainee at Guantanamo Bay who claims that he confessed al-Qaida ties after being tortured.

Last year, U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina said Saeed Mohammed Saleh Hatim should be freed because his admissions were tainted.

Hatim claims he was beaten and threatened with rape while being held for six months in Kandahar, Afghanistan, after his November 2001 capture in Pakistan.

The government says that Hatim had trained at the al-Farouq terrorist camp, stayed at al-Qaida safe houses, and fought against United States and coalition forces at the Battle of Tora Bora in Afghanistan in December 2001.

Judge Urbina had found that the government's case was almost wholly based on confessions that Hatim made because he had been tortured. He said Hatim could not be detained because there was no proof that he was "part of" al-Qaida or the Taliban.

Citing its past rulings on other detainees, a three-judge panel for the the D.C. Circuit ruled Tuesday that al-Qaida supporters can also be detained. It also found that the federal judge was wrong to say the government had to prove that Hatim was part of al-Qaida's "command structure."

"The government and Hatim should have the opportunity on remand to present additional evidence," the unsigned opinion states.

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