March 26, 2015, New York, NY. On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the judgments of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit against Redha al-Najar and Amanatullah Ali, two Bagram detainees who sought to challenge their arbitrary detention by the U.S. Government. This marks the end of a nearly decade-long legal battle waged by the International Justice Network (IJN) in U.S. courts seeking justice for Bagram detainees.
In 2006, IJN filed the first legal cases on behalf of individuals who were detained by the U.S. Military at Bagram prison in Afghanistan without charge, trial, access to legal counsel, or any meaningful opportunity to challenge their imprisonment. After the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the detainees had a constitutional right to file habeas corpus petitions in U.S. courts, the U.S. Government appealed. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reversed the decision, ruling that U.S. courts lacked jurisdiction to hear habeas cases filed by detainees at Bagram. In August 2014, IJN and co-counsel filed petitions for writs of certiorari on behalf of Mr. al-Najar, Mr. Ali, and the several other detainees. While the U.S. Supreme Court was deciding whether to hear the cases, the U.S. Government transferred them out of U.S. military custody at Bagram. Because this unilateral decision prevented the men from obtaining a legal ruling from the highest court in the country, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the D.C. Circuit’s prior rulings against Mr. al-Najar and Mr. Ali.
While Mr. Ali was repatriated to Pakistan after nearly a decade of imprisonment without charge at Bagram, Mr. al-Najar continues to be denied due process based on the actions of the U.S. Government. After 12 years of imprisonment without charge – and on the same day the U.S. Senate released a report confirming that Mr. al-Najar was tortured for nearly 700 days at CIA black sites – the U.S. Military transferred him to the custody and control of the Afghan Government. Mr. al-Najar has now been detained by the Afghan Government for over three months, and has still not been charged with any crime. IJN continues to call on the Afghan authorities to end Mr. al-Najar’s prolonged arbitrary detention without charge and release him to freedom.