No Injunction for Guantanamo Detainee

     (CN) – A Guantanamo Bay detainee unable to show he has been irreparably harmed will not be repatriated to his native Yemen, a federal judge ruled.
     In 2008, the Supreme Court decision Boumediene v. Bush failed to explain what happens to a Guantanamo Bay detainee’s habeas claim once he is transferred or released, leaving this question for the D.C. district court to address.
     In April 2010, U.S. District Judge Thomas Hogan found that the district court cannot remedy the alleged collateral consequences of the petitioners’ prior detention at Guantanamo, and therefore dismissed their habeas claims as moot.
     Petitioner Hani Saleh Rashid Abdullah, a Yemeni national, filed a motion for a preliminary injunction to release him unless his detention complies with the Third Geneva Convention. He also asked the court to direct the respondents, which include President Barack Obama, the Secretary of Defense, and commanders overseeing Guantanamo Bay, to adhere to the 1946 Yemen Agreement, which allegedly prohibits it from refusing to repatriate him to Yemen and detaining him indefinitely in violation of international law.
     The respondents opposed, arguing that Abdullah cannot challenge their suspension of repatriations to Yemen given the country’s instability. They also claimed that, since Abdullah believes he is viewed as a detainee too dangerous to repatriate, even pending improvement in Yemen’s security situation, he cannot trace their failure to repatriate him to their decision to suspend repatriations to Yemen.
     The respondents further suggested that Abdullah has neither been irreparably harmed nor justified interim release. Abdullah responded that he does not actually seek pre-adjudication release, and instead seeks merely “compliance with the Yemen Agreement.”
     U.S. District Judge Richard Roberts denied Abdullah’s motion Tuesday.
     “If Abdullah seeks pre-adjudication release, he has not made any showing that his case is one where pre-adjudicative release is necessary to effectuate habeas,” Roberts wrote. “Nor has he shown a lesser harm to the respondents if they cannot regain his custody should habeas be ultimately found unwarranted, or likewise that the public interest would favor the release now on an as-of-yet unadjudicated habeas claim. If Abdullah does not seek readjudicative release, he has not explained what irreparable injury he faces outside of the injuries addressed by the merits of underlying habeas petition itself if his order is not granted, and he has not explained how the order he seeks would rectify that injury. Nor has he shown the public interest and a lesser harm in precluding the executive from making assessments about the stability and safety of nations to which detainees might be transferred. Accordingly, it is hereby ordered that the petitioner’s motion for a preliminary injunction be, and hereby is, denied.”

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