Federal judge rules US may continue holding Yemeni Gitmo detainee

A judge in the US District Court for the District of Columbia on March 24 denied a Yemeni Guantánamo Bay detainee’s habeas corpus petition on its merits, allowing the US government to prolong the detention indefinitely. Detainee Makhtar Yahia Naji al Warafi was captured during the 2001-2002 US campaign in Afghanistan and maintains that he was only a medical clinic worker at the time. The US alleges that Pentagon intelligence demonstrates Warafi was a trained jihadist. The order by judge Royce Lamberth cites a classified memorandum containing details of the reasoning, which was filed with the court security officer.

Also March 24, Judge Gladys Kessler of the DC District Court dismissed without prejudice the habeas corpus petition of Guantánamo detainee Zahar Bin Hamdoun, captured in 2002 in Pakistan. Hamdoun’s lawyers had requested that the court delay proceedings in order to confer with him over new developments pertaining to evidence in the case.

From Jurist, March 25. Used with permission.