Criminal Justice

If Not Gitmo, NIMBY, Senators Say; Detainee Not Yet Told of Appellate Win


After an appellate court ruling that a military prisoner held for more than six years without trial was improperly classified as an “enemy combatant,” the closure of the military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay—as called for by the presumptive presidential candidates for both major political parties—appears likely.

But where should the successful appellant, Huzaifa Parhat, as well as some 270 other terrorism suspects still being held at Gitmo be transferred?

There doesn’t appear to be a lineup of officials volunteering their local prison for the honor, according to the Miami Herald. In fact, two Kansas senators are pleading with Congressional colleagues in a letter not to send them to the Fort Leavenworth army base in their own state, the Herald reports. The apparent not-in-my-backyard response to the issue of where the Gitmo detainees should be housed, once they are moved from the military prison near Cuba, follows widespread discussion of Fort Leavenworth as a possibility.

Meanwhile, Parhat remains unaware of his landmark federal court victory, which allows him to seek immediate release under a habeas corpus petition, reports the Los Angeles Times.

“It is a tremendous day. It is a very conservative court, but we pressed ahead and we won unanimously,” attorney P. Sabin Willett told the Times earlier this week. “But Huzaifa Parhat is now in his seventh year of imprisonment at Guantanamo Bay, and he doesn’t even know about this ruling because he’s sitting in solitary confinement and we can’t tell him about it. That’s what we do to people in this country—we put them in solitary confinement even when they are not enemy combatants.”

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