Ridah Bin Saleh Al Yazidi
|Ridah Bin Saleh Al Yazidi|
|Charge(s)||No charge, held in extrajudicial detention|
|Status||Habeas petition renewed in July 2008|
Ridah Bin Saleh Al Yazidi is a citizen of Tunisia held in extrajudicial detention in the United States Guantanamo Bay detainment camps, in Cuba since the day it opened, on January 11, 2002. Al Yazidi's Guantanamo detainee ID number 38. The Department of Defense reports that he was born on January 24, 1965, in Unfidel, Tunisia.
Official status reviews
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. 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
Following the Supreme Court's ruling the Department of Defense set up the Office for the Administrative Review of Detained Enemy Combatants.
Scholars at the Brookings Institution, lead by Benjamin Wittes, listed the captives still held in Guantanamo in December 2008, according to whether their detention was justified by certain common allegations:
- Ridah Bin Saleh Al Yazidi was listed as one of the captives who the Wittes team unable to identify as presently cleared for release or transfer.
- Ridah Bin Saleh Al Yazidi was listed as one of the captives who "The military alleges ... are members of the Taliban."
- Ridah Bin Saleh Al Yazidi was listed as one of the captives who "The military alleges ... traveled to Afghanistan for jihad."
- Ridah Bin Saleh Al Yazidi 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."
- Ridah Bin Saleh Al Yazidi was listed as one of the captives who "The military alleges ... took military or terrorist training in Afghanistan."
- Ridah Bin Saleh Al Yazidi was listed as one of the captives who "The military alleges ... fought for the Taliban."
- Ridah Bin Saleh Al Yazidi was listed as one of the captives who "The military alleges ... were at Tora Bora."
- Ridah Bin Saleh Al Yazidi was listed as one of the captives who "The military alleges that the following detainees were captured under circumstances that strongly suggest belligerency."
- Ridah Bin Saleh Al Yazidi was listed as one of the captives who was an "al Qaeda operative".
- Ridah Bin Saleh Al Yazidi was listed as one of the "82 detainees made no statement to CSRT or ARB tribunals or made statements that do not bear materially on the military’s allegations against them."
Habeas corpus petitions
179 captives who had habeas petitions files on their behalf had a dossier of unclassified documents from their Combatant Status Review Tribunals published. But Al Yazidi's documents were withheld. The Bush administration has not offered an explanation as to why his documents were withheld.
The Military Commissions Act of 2006 mandated that Guantanamo captives were no longer entitled to access the US civil justice system, so all outstanding habeas corpus petitions were stayed.
On June 12, 2008 the United States Supreme Court ruled, in Boumediene v. Bush, that the Military Commissions Act could not remove the right for Guantanamo captives to access the US Federal Court system. And all previous Guantanamo captives' habeas petitions were eligible to be re-instated.
Al Yazidi's counsel have submitted requests to re-instate his habeas petition. On July 7, 2008 Brent N. Rushforth filed a "PETITIONER’S UNOPPOSED MOTION TO ENTER PROTECTIVE ORDER"' on behalf of Ridah Bin Saleh Al Yazidi.
Formerly secret Joint Task Force Guantanamo assessment
On April 25, 2011, whistleblower organization WikiLeaks published formerly secret assessments drafted by Joint Task Force Guantanamo analysts. His Joint Task Force Guantanamo assessment was drafted on June 6, 2007. It was signed by camp commandant Rear Admiral Mark H. Buzby. He recommended continued detention.
Joint Review Task Force
On January 21, 2009, the day he was inaugurated, United States President Barack Obama issued three Executive orders related to the detention of individuals in Guantanamo. He put in place a new review system 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. Al Yazidi was one of the 126 individuals approved for transfer.
Status during the Donald Trump administration
Observers noted that President Barack Obama's administration made a push to transfer as many individuals from Guantanamo, as possible, during his last year. The Washington Post reported that Ridah bin Saleh al Yazidi was one of the five individuals who had been cleared for release, who remained in Guantanamo when Donald Trump was inaugurated. During the election campaign Trump had promised that, once he took power, noone would ever leave detention at Guantanamo, that he would bring more individuals to be detained there. The Washington Post reported that Obama administration officials had gotten a country to accept him, but he declined their hospitality.
- Carol Rosenberg (2017-01-12). "Where is war on terror? Last Guantánamo captives were caught all over the world". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 2017-01-27.
The prison enters its 16th year with just two of those first 20 worst of the worst still here — Yemeni Ali Hamza al Bahlul, 47, the prison’s lone convict, and Tunisian Ridah bin Saleh al Yazidi, 51, who has been cleared to go since at least 2009 but no country has agreed to take him.
- "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.
- Neil A. Lewis (2004-11-11). "Guantánamo Prisoners Getting Their Day, but Hardly in Court". Guantanamo Bay detention camp: New York Times. Archived from the original on 2009-04-23. Retrieved 2017-02-21.
- Mark Huband (2004-12-11). "Inside the Guantánamo Bay hearings: Barbarian "Justice" dispensed by KGB-style "military tribunals"". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 2016-03-09. Retrieved 2017-02-21.
- "Q&A: What next for Guantanamo prisoners?". BBC News. 2002-01-21. Archived from the original on 23 November 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-24. mirror
- 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
- "David Hicks v. United States" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. 2004-10-04. pp. pages 1–19. Retrieved 2008-09-26.
- Brent N. Rushforth (2008-07-07). "Guantanamo Bay Detainee Litigation: Doc 12" (PDF). United States Department of Justice. Retrieved 2008-09-26. mirror
- OARDEC (2008-08-08). "Index for CSRT Records Publicly Files in Guantanamo Detainee Cases" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. Retrieved 2007-09-29.
- Brent N. Rushforth (2008-07-18). "Guantanamo Bay Detainee Litigation: Doc 127 -- Petitioner Yazidi's status report" (PDF). United States Department of Justice. Retrieved 2008-09-27. mirror
- Kit A. Pierson (2008-07-22). "Guantanamo Bay Detainee Litigation: Doc 178 -- Memorandum of understanding regarding access to classified national security information" (PDF). United States Department of Justice. Retrieved 2008-09-26. mirror
- Christopher Hope, Robert Winnett, Holly Watt, Heidi Blake (2011-04-27). "WikiLeaks: Guantanamo Bay terrorist secrets revealed -- Guantanamo Bay has been used to incarcerate dozens of terrorists who have admitted plotting terrifying attacks against the West – while imprisoning more than 150 totally innocent people, top-secret files disclose". The Telegraph (UK). Archived from the original on 2012-07-13. Retrieved 2012-07-13.
The Daily Telegraph, along with other newspapers including The Washington Post, today exposes America’s own analysis of almost ten years of controversial interrogations on the world’s most dangerous terrorists. This newspaper has been shown thousands of pages of top-secret files obtained by the WikiLeaks website.
- "WikiLeaks: The Guantánamo files database". The Telegraph (UK). 2011-04-27. Archived from the original on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2012-07-10.
- "Ridah Bin Saleh Al Yazidi: Guantanamo Bay detainee file on Ridah Bin Saleh Al Yazidi, US9TS-000038DP, passed to the Telegraph by Wikileaks". The Telegraph (UK). 2011-04-27. Retrieved 2016-07-09.
- Andy Worthington (2012-10-25). "Who Are the 55 Cleared Guantánamo Prisoners on the List Released by the Obama Administration?". Retrieved 2015-02-19.
I have already discussed at length the profound injustice of holding Shawali Khan and Abdul Ghani, in articles here and here, and noted how their cases discredit America, as Khan, against whom no evidence of wrongdoing exists, nevertheless had his habeas corpus petition denied, and Ghani, a thoroughly insignificant scrap metal merchant, was put forward for a trial by military commission — a war crimes trial — under President Bush.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- "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.
- Julie Tate, Missy Ryan (2017-01-22). "The Trump era has stranded these five men at Guantanamo Bay". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2017-04-11.
Another of the five is Rida bin Saleh al Yazidi, a 51-year-old Tunisian who military officials believed lived in Italy and was later captured in Pakistan. He was taken to Guantánamo in Jan. 2002. Officials said they had identified a country that was willing to accept him, but Yazidi rejected a proposal to be resettled there.