Fouzi Khalid Abdullah Al Awda

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Fouzi Khalid Abdullah al Awda
Born 1977 (age 37–38)
Kuwait City, Kuwait
Detained at Guantanamo
Alternate name Fawzi Khalid Abdullah Fahad al Odah
ISN 232
Status transferred to rehabilitation center in Kuwait

Fouzi Khalid Abdullah al Awda is a Kuwaiti citizen formerly held in the United States Guantanamo Bay detainment camps, in Cuba.[1] He had been detained without charge in Guantanamo Bay since 2002.[1][2] He was a plaintiff in the ongoing case, Al Odah v. United States, which challenged his detention, along with that of fellow detainees. The case was widely acknowledged to be one of the most significant to be heard by the Supreme Court in the current term.[3] The US Department of Defense reports that he was born in 1977, in Kuwait City, Kuwait.

U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly's ruling on Al Odah's habeas corpus petition was published on September 1, 2009.[4][5][6] She denied his habeas corpus petition based on the assumption that it was more likely than not that Awda was a foot soldier fighting in Afghanistan against US troops.

Fouzi Khalid Abdullah al Awda arrived at the Guantanamo detention camps on February 28, 2002[7][8][9] where he remained for 12 years, 8 months, 8 days until his transfer to Kuwait's rehabilitation program for former Guantanamo detainees on November 5, 2014.[10]

Alleged affiliation with al Qaeda[edit]

The U.S. Government contends that al Odah's true purpose in Afghanistan was to join the Taliban and al Qaeda. Supporting this, al Odah's name and phone number appeared in a document found on the official al Qaeda website, and his passport was recovered from an al Qaeda safehouse in Karachi. The appellate court's rejection of his habeas corpus petition also refers to "additional incriminating evidence" discovered since his capture, however the nature of that evidence is redacted in the unclassified version of the opinion. [11]

Capture[edit]

According to an interview Fawzi's father, Khalid al-Odah, gave to Amnesty International, Fawzi traveled in 2001 to the Pakistan/Afghanistan border area in order to do charitable outreach work,[12] Following the attacks of September 11, 2001, Fawzi fled Afghanistan, intending to return home to Kuwait. Fawzi successfully crossed the border into Pakistan but was then captured by Pakistanis that his father alleges were bounty hunters who handed Fawzi and eleven other Kuwaitis over to American authorities.[12][13][14][15][16] The Kuwaitis were then transported to Cuba.

Official status reviews[edit]

Originally the Bush Presidency asserted that captives apprehended in the "war on terror" were not covered by the Geneva Conventions, and could be held indefinitely, without charge, and without an open and transparent review of the justifications for their detention.[17] In 2004 the United States Supreme Court ruled, in Rasul v. Bush, that Guantanamo captives were entitled to being informed of the allegations justifying their detention, and were entitled to try to refute them.

Office for the Administrative Review of Detained Enemy Combatants[edit]

Following the Supreme Court's ruling the Department of Defense set up the Office for the Administrative Review of Detained Enemy Combatants.[17]

Scholars at the Brookings Institution, lead by Benjamin Wittes, studied the OARDEC documents and listed the captives still held in Guantanamo in December 2008, according to whether their detention was justified by certain common allegations:[18]

  • Fouzi Khalid Abdullah Al Awda was listed as one of the captives who "The military alleges ... are associated with both Al Qaeda and the Taliban."[18]
  • Fouzi Khalid Abdullah Al Awda was listed as one of the captives who "The military alleges that the following detainees stayed in Al Qaeda, Taliban or other guest- or safehouses."[18]
  • Fouzi Khalid Abdullah Al Awda was listed as one of the captives who "The military alleges ... were at Tora Bora."[18]
  • Fouzi Khalid Abdullah Al Awda was listed as one of the captives whose "names or aliases were found on material seized in raids on Al Qaeda safehouses and facilities."[18]
  • Fouzi Khalid Abdullah Al Awda was listed as one of the captives who was a foreign fighter.[18]
  • Fouzi Khalid Abdullah Al Awda was listed as one of the "34 [captives] admit to some lesser measure of affiliation—like staying in Taliban or Al Qaeda guesthouses or spending time at one of their training camps."[18]
  • Fouzi Khalid Abdullah Al Awda was listed as one of the captives who had admitted "some form of associational conduct."[18]

Habeas petition -- Al Odah v. United States[edit]

Al Odah v. United States is a writ of habeas corpus petition on behalf of Guantanamo detainees. This consolidated case currently represents four plaintiffs: Fawzi Khalid Abdullah Fahad Al Odah, Fayiz Mohammed, Ahmed Al Kandari, Khalid Abdullah Mishal Al Mutairi, and Fouad Mahmoud Al Rabiah. Al Odah v. United States was originally filed April 2002 on behalf of twelve imprisoned Kuwaitis, including Al Odah, seeking the right of habeas corpus. The case was dismissed in May 2002 following a government motion to dismiss the habeas corpus petition.[19]

On June 28, 2004, the Supreme Court issued an opinion on a related Guantanamo case, Rasul v. Bush, affirming the right of Guantanamo detainees to challenge their imprisonment in the U.S. federal court system. Under this ruling, detainees such as those represented in Al Odah would be able to file habeas corpus petitions in U.S. courts.

In April 2007, the Supreme Court declined to hear two cases challenging the Military Commissions Act: Boumediene v. Bush and Al Odah v. United States On June 29, 2007, the court reversed that decision, releasing an order that expressed their intent to hear the challenge. The two cases have been consolidated into one.[20] Oral arguments were heard on December 5, 2007. The decision, striking down the Military Commissions Act, was handed down on 12 June 2008.[21][22]

On July 18, 2008 David J. Cynamon filed a "PETITIONERS’ STATUS REPORT" in Al Odah, v. United States Civil Action No. CV 02-0828 (CKK) on behalf of Fawzi Khalid Abdullah Fahad Al Odah, Fayiz Mohammed Ahmen Al Kandari, Khalid Abdullah Mishal Al Mutairi, Fouad Mahmoud Al Rabiah.[23] He wrote that they were the four remaining Kuwaiti captives in Guantanamo. He wrote that none of the four men had been cleared for release. He wrote that the government had completed "factual returns" for all four men—but those factual returns had contained redacted sections.

Joint Review Task Force[edit]

When he assumed office in January 2009 President Barack Obama made a number of promises about the future of Guantanamo.[24][25][26] He promised the use of torture would cease at the camp. He promised to institute a new review system. That new review system was composed of officials from six departments, where the OARDEC reviews were conducted entirely by the Department of Defense. When it reported back, a year later, the Joint Review Task Force classified some individuals as too dangerous to be transferred from Guantanamo, even though there was no evidence to justify laying charges against them. On April 9, 2013, that document was made public after a Freedom of Information Act request.[27] Fouzi Khalid Abdullah Al Awda was one of the 71 individuals deemed too innocent to charge, but too dangerous to release. Although Obama promised that those deemed too innocent to charge, but too dangerous to release would start to receive reviews from a Periodic Review Board less than a quarter of men have received a review.

Meetings with attorneys[edit]

On September 28, 2005, the Associated Press reported on a meeting between attorneys Thomas Wilner and Kristine Huskey and their Kuwaiti clients.[28] According to Wilner and Huskey, al-Odah and four of his compatriots, were on a hunger strike and had lost a dangerous amount of weight. They reported that al-Odah had been force-fed and could barely sit up.

Human Rights critics argue that the detainees retain the right to give or withhold consent to all medical procedures.

According to Fawzi's lawyer, Thomas Wilner, Fawzi wanted Wilner to file a legal request ordering the removal of his feeding tube. Wilner did file such a request because Fawzi's family was "frantic" and opposed the motion.

Wilner said that at the time, Fawzi looked "like a skeleton".

Al-Odah told his lawyers that camp authorities had warned the hunger strikers that they would start strapping them in "restraint chairs" during their force-feedings.[29]

In an interview in Marie Claire magazine Huskey described her surprise that when she first met with Guantanamo clients, like al-Odah, they preferred food brought from Guantanamo fast food outlets to the Arabic delicacies she and her colleagues had brought from the Continental US.[30] She reported that Al-Odah's favorite was MacDonald's French Fries and ice cream.

Media Editorials[edit]

Fawzi Al-Odah's father, Khalid al-Odah, wrote an Op-Ed in the Washington Post, on September 2, 2006, entitled: "Put My Son on Trial -- or Free Him".[31] In the article Khalid argues that "hundreds of innocent men sit in prison", who could have been freed, if American authorities had granted them the protections of the rule of law and granted them a fair trial in a traditional court of law.

Al Odah's father stated that Fawzi had always been an admirer of the American system.[31]

The Washington Post identifies Khalid Al-Odah as the founder of the Kuwaiti Family Committee.[31] It states:

"The writer founded the Kuwaiti Family Committee four years ago to secure the legal rights of foreign nationals imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay."

The New York Times editorial board has spoken out in favor of the plaintiffs in the Al Odah v. United States case, calling it "the Supreme Court showdown of the year".“Civil liberties groups — and this Editorial Board", write the editors, "believe it is important for the Supreme Court to make clear that the detainees have a constitutional right to have a judge determine whether they are being properly held.”.[32]

Al Odah v. United States[edit]

Fouzi Khalid Abdullah Al Awda was among the eleven captives covered in the July 2008 "Petitioners' Status Report" filed by David J. Cynamon in Al Odah v. United States on behalf of the four remaining Kuwaiti prisoners in Guantanamo. Seven other prisoners were amalgamated to the case, which charged that none of the men had been cleared for release, even though the government had completed factual returns for them -- and those factual returns had contained redacted sections.[23]

The decision, striking down the Military Commissions Act, was handed down on June 12, 2008.[21][33]

On May 12, 2007, the Kuwait Times reported that Kuwait and the USA concluded negotiations regarding the repatriation of the remaining Kuwaiti captives.[34] Nevertheless, Khaled Al Mutayri, Fouzi Khalid Abdullah Al Awda, Fouad Mahoud Hasan Al Rabia and Faiz Mohammed Ahmed Al Kandari continue to be held as of August 1, 2009.[35] US District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kottely ordered the immediate repatriation of Khaled Al Mutairi on July 29, 2009.[36][37][38][39][40] According to The Jurist the habeas corpus cases for the other three men are expected to conclude in August and September 2009.

Kollar-Kotelly ruled on Al Odah's habeas corpus petition on August 24, 2009.[4][5][6] The 32-page ruling was published on September 1, 2009, after classified portions had been redacted. She ruled that the USA could consider Al Odah was an "enemy combatant", without regard to whether the training camp he attended was actually the al Farouq training camp, because he had acknowledged attending a training camp, for a single day.

Renewed repatriation negotiations[edit]

In July 2013 Cynammon said the Obama administration was renewing repatriation negotiations after "years of radio silence".[41]

Repatriated in November 2014[edit]

He was repatriated in November 2014, following the recommendation of the Periodic Review Board.[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b OARDEC (2006-05-15). "List of Individuals Detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba from January 2002 through May 15, 2006" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. Retrieved 2007-09-29. 
  2. ^ documents (.pdf) from Fouzi Khalid Abdullah Al Awda's Combatant Status Review Tribunal
  3. ^ "US Supreme Court starts new term". BBC News. 2007-10-01. Retrieved 2009-09-01. 
  4. ^ a b Carol Rosenberg (2009-09-01). "Judge rules Kuwaiti at Guantánamo was foot soldier". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 2009-09-01. 
  5. ^ a b Colleen Kollar-Kotelly (2009-08-24). "Al Odah v. USA" (PDF). United States Department of Justice. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-09-01. 
  6. ^ a b Jaclyn Belczyk (2009-09-01). "Federal judge denies Al Odah Guantanamo habeas petition". The Jurist. Archived from the original on 2009-09-01. 
  7. ^ JTF-GTMO (2007-03-16). "Measurements of Heights and Weights of Individuals Detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba". Department of Defense. Retrieved 2008-12-22.  mirror
  8. ^ "Measurements of Heights and Weights of Individuals Detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (ordered and consolidated version)" (PDF). Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas, from DoD data. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-12-21. 
  9. ^ a b Margot Williams (2008-11-03). "Guantanamo Docket: Fouzi Khalid Abdullah al Awda". New York Times. 
  10. ^ Valery, Chantal (2014-11-05). "Kuwaiti Guantanamo inmate freed, US plans dozen more releases". AFP. Retrieved 2014-11-05. 
  11. ^ Al Odah v. United States, 09-5331, Factual Background (page 5) (United States Court of Appeals for the District of Colombia Circuit 30 June 2010).
  12. ^ a b Interview with Khalid al-Odah, father of Fawzi Al-Odah who is detained in Guantanamo Bay, Amnesty International, June 1, 2005
  13. ^ Linda Greenhouse (November 11, 2003). "Justices to hear case of detainees at Guantanamo". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-09-22. 
  14. ^ Richard Willing (April 18, 2004). "Prisoner's father hopes courts find, fix 'big mistake'". USA Today. Retrieved 2007-09-22. 
  15. ^ Khalid al-Odah (September 2, 2006). "Put My Son on Trial -- or Free Him". Washington Post. p. A29. Retrieved 2007-09-22. 
  16. ^ "Kuwait’s Guantanamo Bay prisoners demand justice". Daily Times (Pakistan). January 8, 2005. Retrieved 2007-09-22. 
  17. ^ a b "U.S. military reviews 'enemy combatant' use". USA Today. 2007-10-11. Archived from the original on 2012-08-11. Critics called it an overdue acknowledgment that the so-called Combatant Status Review Tribunals are unfairly geared toward labeling detainees the enemy, even when they pose little danger. Simply redoing the tribunals won't fix the problem, they said, because the system still allows coerced evidence and denies detainees legal representation. 
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h Benjamin Wittes, Zaathira Wyne (2008-12-16). "The Current Detainee Population of Guantánamo: An Empirical Study" (PDF). The Brookings Institution. Retrieved 2010-02-16.  mirror
  19. ^ "''The Center for Constitutional Rights'' Case Synopsis". Ccrjustice.org. Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  20. ^ "FindLaw docket for Boumediene v. Bush (No. 06-1195) and Al Odah v. US (06-1196), including amici briefs". Supreme.lp.findlaw.com. Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  21. ^ a b "Justices Rule Terror Suspects Can Appeal in Civilian Courts". Nytimes.com. 2008-06-13. Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  22. ^ "Transcript of Supreme Court oral arguments for Boumediene v. Bush (No. 06-1195) and Al Odah v. US (06-1196)" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-08-24. 
  23. ^ a b David J. Cynamon (2008-08-19). "Guantanamo Bay Detainee Litigation: Doc 88 -- petitioners' status report" (PDF). United States Department of Justice. Retrieved 2008-08-23.  mirror
  24. ^ Peter Finn (January 22, 2010). "Justice task force recommends about 50 Guantanamo detainees be held indefinitely". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2015-05-19. Retrieved July 21, 2010. 
  25. ^ Peter Finn (May 29, 2010). "Most Guantanamo detainees low-level fighters, task force report says". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2015-05-19. Retrieved July 21, 2010. 
  26. ^ Andy Worthington (June 11, 2010). "Does Obama Really Know or Care About Who Is at Guantánamo?". Archived from the original on 2010-06-16. Retrieved July 21, 2010. 
  27. ^ "71 Guantanamo Detainees Determined Eligible to Receive a Periodic Review Board as of April 19, 2013". Joint Review Task Force. 2013-04-09. Archived from the original on 2015-05-19. Retrieved 2015-05-18. 
  28. ^ Lawyers Visit Detainees on Hunger Strike, Washington Post, September 21, 2005
  29. ^ Gitmo detainees say force led to drop in number on hunger strike at U.S. base, Findlaw, February 9, 2006
  30. ^ Jennifer Senior (December 2006). "Gitmo's Girl". Marie Claire. Retrieved 2007-07-14. 
  31. ^ a b c Put My Son on Trial -- or Free Him, Washington Post, September 2, 2006
  32. ^ The Supreme Court Showdown of the Year, The New York Times, October 23, 2007
  33. ^ Transcript of Supreme Court oral arguments for Boumediene v. Bush (No. 06-1195) and Al Odah v. US (06-1196)
  34. ^ B Izzak (May 12, 2007). "US to free last Kuwaiti Guantanamo detainees". Kuwait Times. Archived from the original on 2009-07-31. Retrieved 2007-05-14. 
  35. ^ Jaclyn Belczyk (2009-07-30). "Federal judge orders release of Kuwaiti Guantanamo detainee". The Jurist. Archived from the original on 2009-07-31. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  36. ^ Colleen Kollar-Kotelly (2009-07-29). "Civil Action 02 cv 0828-606". United States Department of Justice. Archived from the original on 2009-07-31. Retrieved 2009-07-31. 
  37. ^ Nedra Pickler (2009-09-02). "Judge denies Kuwaiti's request for Gitmo release". Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2009-09-02. 
  38. ^ "US judge says Kuwaiti's detention in Guantanamo justified". Agence France Presse. 2009-09-02. Archived from the original on 2009-09-02. 
  39. ^ Bill Mears (2009-09-01). "Guantanamo detainee loses latest legal challenge". CNN. Archived from the original on 2009-09-02. Retrieved 2009-08-02. 
  40. ^ Avery Fellow (2009-09-01). "Alleged al-Qaida Fighter Loses Bid for Release". Courthouse News. Archived from the original on 2009-09-02. 
  41. ^ "Obama pledge to transfer Guantanamo Bay detainees sparks diplomatic maneuvering for detainees". Fox News. 2013-07-13. Archived from the original on 2013-07-13. Retrieved 2013-07-13. Cynamon said that's even though the Kuwaiti government built a rehabilitation center for former Guantanamo detainees at the request of Bush administration officials, after another former detainee carried out a suicide bombing that killed at least seven people in Iraq. The center, a section of the Kuwaiti central prison designed for medical and psychological treatment and religious counseling to ensure the detainees will peacefully reintegrate into society, has not been used. 

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