Wednesday Sep 12, 201209:08 AM GMT
Dead Gitmo inmate had release clearance
Detainees are seen in orange jumpsuits at the US detention facility at Guantanamo, Cuba
Detainees are seen in orange jumpsuits at the US detention facility at Guantanamo, Cuba
Wed Sep 12, 2012 9:2AM
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The inmate recently reported dead at the notorious US Guantanamo detention facility has been identified as a Yemeni that died despite having been cleared for release twice as far back as 2007.

The US military’s Joint Task Force Guantanamo identifies the victim in a Tuesday statement as 32-year-old Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif, who died at Camp V maximum-security block of the American detention facility in Cuba, but failed to elaborate on the cause of death, the New York Times reported on Wednesday.

The suspicious death of the young Yemeni, who was among the first prisoners handed over to the American forces in Afghanistan by Pakistani security guards following the occupation of the country in October 2001, came despite a 2007 military judgment and a 2010 federal court order that he could be freed.

In 2004, the Pentagon concluded, following Latif’s Combatant Status Review Tribunal, that “he had not participated in terrorist training and cleared him for release three years later,” the report adds, citing classified US military documents obtained and released by the WikiLeaks website.

In 2010, according to the report, US District Judge Henry H. Kennedy “rejected as insufficient the government’s grounds for keeping him imprisoned” and ordered his release in a court ruling submitted under seal.

The US Justice Department, however, appealed Kennedy’s ruling, insisting that officials required more time to comply with the release order “without compromising the government’s sensitive national security and foreign policy concerns.” A federal appeals court in Washington then ruled in favor of the Obama administration in 2011, “saying Kennedy should have respected the government’s position.”

Furthermore, the US Supreme Court declined to review Latif’s case, leaving him captive without any additional options for challenging his indefinite detention.

Latif’s government-assigned lawyer, David Remes, had persistently explained to the American courts throughout his almost 11-year imprisonment that “he suffered mental problems, was despondent over his indefinite detention and had repeatedly attempted suicide,” the report said.

Latif was the ninth Guantanamo prisoner to die ever since the detention facility opened in January 2002. Nearly 170 more foreign inmates remain at the prison camp, down from about 800 inmates reported in 2005.

International Red Cross inspectors and released detainees have described various acts of torture employed at the American detention facility, including the extensive use of waterboarding, sleep deprivation, beatings and confinement in small, cold cells.

Among the allegations of abuse at the US camp is the violation of the detainees’ religious rights.

Upon taking office in 2009, US President Barack Obama signed an executive order to stop military commissions in order to shut down the facility by 2010. However, the controversial prison camp continues to operate, holding foreign inmates condemned to indefinite detention without any formal charges.

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