Constitutional Law

Fed'l Judge Slams US, Orders Release of Kuwaiti Man Held 7 Years at Gitmo

In a sealed decision last week that was declassified today, a federal judge in Washington, D.C., orders the release of a 50-year-old Kuwait Airlines engineer and slammed the United States for holding him for seven years at a U.S. military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

“If there exists a basis for [Fouad] Al Rabiah’s indefinite detention, it most certainly has not been presented to this court,” writes U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in a 65-page opinion that also complains of a “surprisingly bare” record presented during a four-day closed hearing last month as authorities sought his continued detention, reports the Associated Press.

Much of the government’s case relied on confessions that Kollar-Kotelly said were not credible and had been obtained through abusive interrogation techniques, the news agency reports.

Al Rabiah was arrested in Afghanistan in late 2001, where he said he had gone on vacation to perform charitable work. He told the court he confessed after being told that it was the only way he could be released from Gitmo.

“This case exemplifies everything that is wrong with Guantanamo,” says attorney David Cynamon, who represents Rabiah. “He’s a completely innocent man and they torture him into confessing, right out of the North Korean and communist Chinese play book. It turns your stomach.”

Additional coverage:

Miami Herald: “Judge: Free Kuwaiti engineer at Guantánamo”

Front Row Washington (Reuters): “Judge blasts case against Kuwaiti held at Guantanamo”

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