Link to Memorandum Opinion of the Court.
Interesting habeas case out of Guantanamo that has been decided in favor of the Petitioner. The case name is Mohammed Al-Qahtani, Petitioner v Donald J. Trump, et al., Respondents.
Senior United States District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer of the District of Columbia is presiding over this case.
Petitioner Mohammed al-Qahtani is a national of Saudi Arabia who has been held at the United States Naval Station, Guantanamo Bay, for the past 18 years. In October 2010, Mr. al-Qahtani was granted a stay of his 2005 petition for a writ of habeas corpus seeking release. His counsel have now moved for an examination by a mixed medical commission to determine if he is entitled to direct repatriation pursuant to Army Regulation 190-8, Section 3-12, which deals with the repatriation of sick and wounded prisoners. Dept. of the Army, Army Reg. 190-8, Enemy Prisoners of War, Retained Personnel, Civilian Internees, and Other Detainees, ch.3, § 12 (Oct. 1, 1997). The government opposes his motion
The question before this Court is whether Army Regulation 190-8 applies to Mr. al-Qahtani, such that his physical and mental health require the United States to repatriate him immediately. Army Regulation 190-8 finds its principal guidance in the Geneva Conventions,3 of which the Third Geneva Convention is relevant here. Accordingly, an overview of the provisions of the Third Geneva Convention and Army Regulation 190-8 is necessary.
The Petitioner is a Saudi National who was captured by the United States in Afghanistan and who has been detained at Guantanamo pretty much from the beginning in 2002. The Petitioner alleges a history of mental illness, including a head injury suffered in a car accident as a child. Observations by personnel at Guantanamo are consistent with the allegations. Sometime after his arrival and after being observed with mental illness symptoms, the Petitioner was tortured, including by waterboarding, sleep deprivation, temperature extremes, stressful positions and other methods.
Petitioner invokes Army Regulation 190-8 (which gives effect to the various 1949 Geneva Conventions), linked to below:
Judge Collyer ruled in the linked order that Army Regulation 190-8 is applicable to detainees at Guantanamo. The Petitioner will be examined by a Mixed Medical Commission under 190-8. One member will be a United States Army Surgeon, the other two members will be medical officers from a neutral country. If a majority of the Commission determines that the Petitioner’s condition is chronic and severe, he must, pursuant to 190-8, be repatriated to Saudi Arabia, who has indicated they will accept him.
Judge Collyer has indicated that if the Mixed Medical Commission indicates that he should be repatriated, she will issue an order for his immediate repatriation.
I agree with the Opinion of the Court in the case and I agree with repatriating the Petitioner should the Mixed Medical Commission find in his favor.