Thursday, July 30, 2009

Judge Orders Release of Gitmo Detainee

U.S. District Judge Ellen Huvelle today ordered the release of Mohammed Jawad, a young Guantanamo detainee who has spent six and a half years at the U.S. detention facility in Cuba. He was accused of wounding two U.S. soldiers and their interpreter by throwing a grenade at their jeep in Afghanistan.

Jawad could be released by late August. Government attorneys said in court filings Wednesday that they were prepared to release him, but they didn't specify where he would go next.

“This is good news for Jawad but it's not nearly the end of his story,” writes CBS News Chief Legal Correspondent Andrew Cohen. The government could still decide to transfer him to civilian custody and then prosecute him for terror-related crimes, Cohen reports.
This is a serious injustice. Jawad was a boy when he was caught. No wonder Gitmo has been so successful for terrorist recruiting:
"This guy has been there seven years," she said at the hearing July 16. "Seven years. He might have been taken there at the age of maybe 12, 13, 14, 15 years old. I don't know what he is doing there."

Jawad's attorneys say he was only about 12 years old when he was arrested in December 2002, although there aren't records of his birth in a refugee camp in Pakistan so his age is unclear. The Pentagon says a bone scan shows Jawad was older, about 17, when he was arrested. Read the whole thing at CBS