(RIA Novosti) – Of the 56 Yemeni prisoners recommended for release at US’s Guantanamo Bay prison, none have made it home despite the lifted moratorium on returning them to their native land, a lawyer representing four of them told RIA Novosti Wednesday.
“There have been discussions, but so far nothing has actually happened… Yemen has asked for its people back, some of whom have been cleared for release, but they are not being released,” said Stephen Truitt, a defense attorney principally responsible for one Gitmo prisoner but assisting in three other cases.
Truitt told RIA Novosti there was talk of a potential landing spot for the Yemeni prisoners and a rehab facility that allegedly functions like the one in Saudi Arabia, where Gitmo prisoners were taught to re-integrate back into the nation’s life.
“There have been discussions, but so far nothing has actually happened,” Truitt told RIA Novosti. “Yemen has asked for its people back, some of whom have been cleared for release, but they are not being released.”
The lawyer claimed the US still has a fear of returning the prisoners to a country marked by unrest.
Truitt is principally responsible for one Gitmo prisoner, but assists in three other cases. His client, prisoner ISN 841, a man once called Abdullah, who has since lost faith in the justice system.
“He really does not expect the courts to release him, despite the efforts we have made,” the lawyer stated. “He looks rather to Allah, and believes he will be freed when it’s Allah’s will that he be freed.”
Abdullah has been placed in the category called “too dangerous to release.” However, Truitt claims his client cannot be prosecuted, because the evidence against him was procured by improper means.
Abdullah is not the only one frustrated by the process. Truitt reports when he met the family in Yemen they were completely befuddled by why it’s taking so long.
“Indeed anyone who studied this process should be puzzled,” Truitt stressed.
Abdullah’s lawyer noted that there have been a few developments recently including a federal appeals court ruling that the prisoners at Guantanamo have the right to contest the conditions of their confinement.
“As a result of that, there have been at least two challenges to the force-feeding at the facility on the grounds that the force-feeding tube is inserted twice daily contrary to medical procedure, and increasing the likelihood of infection,” Truitt elaborated, adding that the amount force-fed is far above and in excess of the amount that is supposed to go in in a given time frame.
“The effect of the procedure is really a form of torture known as a water cure, which the Japanese use in the WWII on Americans and were convicted of doing that,” Truitt claimed.
Water cure is a torture known since the Middle Ages when the victim was forced to drink a large amount of water in a short time, often resulting in water intoxication and even death.
On Monday the lawyers for Shaker Aamer, the last British detainee at Guantanamo, filed a motion on his behalf seeking his release on the grounds of post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental and physical ailments. Last year there was no opposition from the United States to the transfer of the Sudanese prisoner Ibrahim Idris.
“His petition was built on the same grounds and the judge granted his writ habeas corpus,” Truitt said.
The possibility that could lead to Aamer’s release or transfer lie in the Geneva Conventions and US Army regulations. Truitt explains that if it is determined that a prisoner is ill or injured and they cannot be cured or treated effectively in the base or the prison where they are presently housed that they must be allowed redress. This is especially pertinent, Truitt believes in the case he is representing. The treating physician, a psychiatrist who had interviewed Aamer some 25 hours has concluded that he could not be effectively treated for his multiple psychological and straightforward medical problems at Guantanamo.
Aamer has to take medical doses of antidepressant, and such treatment requires very careful monitoring and supervision as well as the trust of the patient,” the lawyer stated, adding that the only doctors available at Guantanamo are those that are immediately subject to the military command, and are quite reasonably distrusted by the prisoners.
“Besides, Mr. Amer has severe physical problems, requiring supervision and delicate treatment, which is not receiving what he needs at the base,” Truitt said.
The lawyer noted that Abdullah has managed to maintain his sanity, despite the fact that he was kept in a solitary confinement for a very long time for no good reason.