Second US Army officer asserts bias in Guantanamo detainee tribunals

[JURIST] A second US Army officer who sat on Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRTs) [DOD materials] at Guantanamo Bay has made an affidavit [PDF text included in declaration] criticizing the panels for being inconsistent and biased towards the government. Attorneys for Adel Hassan Hamad [IHT profile; JURIST commentary], a Sudanese detainee captured in Pakistan in 2002, filed the affidavit in Washington on Friday claiming that the panels determining whether prisoners were properly classified as "enemy combatants" relied upon insufficient evidence and were occasionally overridden by commanders. The name of the officer making the latest allegations was redacted in a copy of the affidavit obtained by AP.

In June, US Army Lt. Col. Stephen Abraham [NYT profile], a 26-year veteran of military intelligence and formerly a liaison officer between the CSRT and the intelligence agencies, became the first former CSRT member to publicly criticize the tribunals [JURIST report], filing an affidavit [PDF text] in the case of Fawzi al-Odah [Amnesty profile], a Kuwaiti detainee who is currently challenging his status as an "enemy combatant" before the US Supreme Court. The US Department of Justice subsequently rejected Abraham's claims [JURIST report]. CSRTs evaluated the status of 558 detainees at Guantanamo from 2004-2005; the detainees were forced to appear handcuffed before three officers and were not allowed lawyers. Only 38 detainees were found not to qualify for continued detention. AP has more.

 

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