November 23, 2009
Former Detainees' Habeas Claims Moot
Former Guantanamo detainees cannot maintain their habeas claims against the U.S. government, Judge Richard Leon (D.D.C.) ruled in a set of opinions released today (all duplicates of the linked opinion). Judge Leon ruled the claims moot.
Former detainees, all apparently in custody in other countries, argued that they were constructively held by the U.S. government and that they suffered collateral consequences of custody at Guantanamo. Judge Leon ruled that former detainees were not under constructive U.S. custody, that collateral consequences were "based on the discretionary decisions of" someone other than the U.S. government, and that the court couldn't do anything about another country's detention anyway.
The ruling dismisses the former detainees' claims for release and their recently added claim that their transfer was unlawful under the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.
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