Guantanamo detainee requests release on declining health

[JURIST] Lawyers for Shaker Aamer [NYT backgrounder; JURIST news archive], a Saudi citizen and former UK resident detained at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST backgrounder], asked [text, PDF] a federal judge on Monday to release him on the grounds that he is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and other illnesses. The motion for release claims that "Mr. Aamer's mental and physical fitness is gravely diminished due to chronic and severe ailments," and that it will take "many years, if not a lifetime, to achieve any significant recovery." In calling for his return to his family in the UK, Aamer's lawyers cite both the Geneva Convention and Army Regulation 190-8 [texts, PDF], requiring the repatriation of chronically ill prisoners. The motion, filed in the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website], attempts to capitalize on the 2013 release of Ibrahim Idris [DOD backgrounder], a Sudanese detainee at Guantanamo who suffered from severe mental illness.

This is the latest development in Aamer's Guantanamo Bay detention. In February the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit denied [JURIST report] Aamer and three other detainees their request for injunctive relief to stop prison authorities from force-feeding prisoners to end their hunger strike. Aamer filed a complaint [JURIST report] in September against UK security forces MI5 and MI6 [official websites] regarding his treatment while detained by them. In December 2012, Aamer also filed a defamation suit [JURIST report] against both agencies. Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] has denounced [JURIST report] Aamer's continued detention, calling it a "mockery of justice" in a February 2011 report.

 

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