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Bob Herbert on Mohammed Jawad: "How Long Is Enough?"

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June 30, 2009

Bob Herbert has an excellent piece in The New York Times today about our habeas corpus case on behalf of Mohammed Jawad.

The Afghan government recently sent a letter to the U.S. government demanding Jawad’s return and suggesting he was as young as 12 when he was captured in Afghanistan and illegally rendered from that country almost seven years ago.

The U.S. government continues to rely on evidence obtained through torture and coercion in Jawad’s habeas challenge to his unlawful detention, despite the fact that the very same evidence was suppressed by the judge in Jawad’s military commission trial.

Jawad was still a boy when he was captured in Afghanistan. He was coerced into signing a confession written in Farsi, a language he could not speak, much less read or write (in fact, Jawad was functionally illiterate even in his native language of Pashto). He was later rendered to Bagram and then to Guantánamo, where he was subjected to the worst forms of torture. After weeks of isolation and abuse, Jawad tried to kill himself by repeatedly banging his head against the wall of his cell. No doubt irreparable harm has been done to Mohammed Jawad’s body and mind. The U.S. has no credible evidence against him. And yet he remains captive in U.S. custody.

Writes Herbert of Jawad’s harrowing story:

[S]ince his capture he has been tortured and otherwise put through hell. The evidence against him has been discredited. He has tried to commit suicide. But the U.S. won’t let him go.

Andy Worthington has also written about Jawad here.

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