A group of Willamette University students is celebrating – and preparing for a lot of work. The civil complaint they drafted on behalf of a former Guantanamo detainee has been filed in federal court.
Adel Hamad is a Sudanese national who was doing humanitarian work in Pakistan when he was seized by the Pakistani military.
He wound up in U.S. custody at Guantanamo. He stayed there for more than five years.
A federal public defender in Oregon worked on Hamad’s case, and Hamad was sent home in 2007. But now, Willamette’s University’s International Human Rights Clinic has filed a civil suit on Hamad’s behalf, in a Washington federal court.
Jon Strauhal is a third-year law student who worked on the complaint. He says the team studied the legal strategies of other former detainees.
Jon Strauhal “A lot of the cases have been dismissed in other jurisdictions, however, none of those cases have been brought in the 9th circuit, or in the Western District of Washington.”
The team hopes to rely on Supreme Court precedent. They’re also betting on key comments from a federal official who said that Bush administration officials knew innocent men were being held at Guantanamo.
The suit claims that Hamad was illegally designated an enemy combatant, and was tortured, in violation of international law.