Yasim Muhammed Basardah

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Yasim Muhammed Basardah
ISN 252.jpg
Detained at Guantanamo
ISN 252
Charge(s) extrajudicial detention
Status Transferred to Spain on May 4, 2010

Yasim Muhammed Basardah is a citizen of Yemen who was detained in the United States's Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba.[1] His Guantanamo Internment Serial Number is 252.[2] Basardah was an informant for the interrogators in Guantanamo where he was rewarded with his own cell, McDonald's apple pies, chewing tobacco, a truck magazine and other "comfort items".[3]

Habeas corpus appeal, and appeal under the Detainee Treatment Act[edit]

Yasim Muhammed Basardah had a habeas corpus petition filed on his behalf. In September 2007 the Department of Justice published dossiers of unclassified documents arising from the Combatant Status Review Tribunals of 179 captives.[4] His documents were not among those the Department of Defense published.

The Detainee Treatment Act and Military Commissions Act[edit]

The United States Congress passed the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 and the Military Commissions Act of 2006. Both these Acts included provisions to close of Guantanamo captives' ability to file habeas corpus petitions.[5][6]

The Detainee Treatment Act included a provision to proscribe Guantanamo captives who had not already initiated a habeas corpus petition from initiating new habeas corpus petitions.[5] The Act included provision for an alternate, more limited form of appeal for captives. Captives were allowed to submit limited appeals to panels of three judges in a Washington DC appeals court. The appeals were limited—they could not be based on general principles of human rights. They could only be based on arguments that their Combatant Status Review Tribunal had not followed the rules laid out for the operation of Combatant Status Review Tribunals.

Nine months later Congress passed the Military Commissions Act.[5] This Act contained provision to close off all the remaining outstanding habeas corpus petitions. After the closure of the habeas corpus petitions some Guantanamo captives had appeals in the Washington DC court submitted on their behalf, as described in the Detainee Treatment Act.

The DTA appeals progressed very slowly.[5] Initially the Department of Justice argued that the captive's lawyers, and the judges on the panel, needed consider no more evidence than the "Summary of Evidence memos" prepared for the captives' CSR Tribunals. By September 2007 the Washington DC court ruled that the evidence that formed the basis of the summaries had to be made available.

The Administration then argued that it was not possible to present the evidence the Tribunals considered in 2004—because the evidence had not been preserved.[5]

Only one captive, a Uyghur captive named Hufaiza Parhat, had his DTA appeal run to completion. On June 20, 2008 his three judge panel concluded that his Tribunal had erred and that he never should have been confirmed as an enemy combatant.

Boumediene v. Bush[edit]

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. The judges considering the captives' habeas petitions would be considering whether the evidence used to compile the allegations the men and boys were enemy combatants justified a classification of "enemy combatant".[7]

Basardah's appeal under the DTA[edit]

Basardah's appeal under the DTA was suspended by the panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit examining his case.[8][9] On 5 November 2008 the panel suspended his appeal on jurisdictional grounds. The panel wrote that when Congress passed the Detainee Treatment Act, stripping captives of the right to habeas corpus, they didn't anticipate that the Supreme Court would restore it, and that it was a mistake to proceed on two separate mechanisms for proceeding towards the same end.

Lyle Denniston, writing in Scotusblog, commented that this ruling implied that DTA appeals were closed for all future petitioners.[10] He speculated that the other 190 outstanding DTA appeals would regard it as a precedent. Denniston wrote that Basardah had been waiting for his DTA appeal, 07-cv-1192, to be heard since June 2007.

Asylum in Spain[edit]

On May 19, 2010, historian Andy Worthington, author of The Guantanamo Files, reported that Saba News was reporting Yasin had been transferred to Spain.[11]


  1. ^ "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 2006-05-15.  Works related to List of Individuals Detained by the Department of Defense at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba from January 2002 through May 15, 2006 at Wikisource
  2. ^ Margot Williams (2008-11-03). "Guantanamo Docket: Yasim Muhammed Basardah". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-07-20. 
  3. ^ Del Quentin Wilber (2009-02-03). "Detainee-Informer Presents Quandary for Government". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2013-07-20. Despite relying on Basardah's tips, military officials have expressed reservations about the credibility of their star witness since 2004. His trustworthiness was further thrown in doubt a little more than two weeks ago when a federal judge ordered a 21-year-old prisoner freed, saying he could not rely on Basardah's word to justify the man's confinement. 
  4. ^ OARDEC (August 8, 2007). "Index for CSRT Records Publicly Files in Guantanamo Detainee Cases" (PDF). United States Department of Defense. Retrieved 2007-09-29. 
  5. ^ a b c d e Dahlia Lithwick (2007-10-17). "The Dog Ate My Evidence: What happens when the government can't re-create the case against you?". Slate magazine. Retrieved 2008-08-18. Is the government taking the position that this evidence is both critically, vitally, and hugely important to national security, but also, um, lost? Not quite. But it is saying that the 'record' relied upon to lock up men for years is somehow so scattered among various Department of Defense 'components, and all relevant federal agencies' that it cannot be pulled together for a review.  mirror
  6. ^ Peter D. Keisler, Douglas N. Letter (2006-10-16). "NOTICE OF MILITARY COMMISSIONS ACT OF 2006" (PDF). United States Department of Justice. Retrieved 2008-09-30.  mirror
  7. ^ Farah Stockman (2008-10-24). "Lawyers debate 'enemy combatant'". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2008-10-24.  mirror
  8. ^ Andrew Morgan (2008-11-05). "DC Circuit suspends status review for Yemeni held at Guantanamo". The Jurist. Retrieved 2008-09-28.  mirror
  9. ^ "YASIN MUHAMMED BASARDH, (ISN 252), PETITIONER v. ROBERT M. GATES, U.S. SECRETARY OF DEFENSE" (PDF). United States Department of Justice. 2008-11-04. Retrieved 2008-11-07.  mirror
  10. ^ Lyle Denniston (2008-11-04). "Circuit Court: DTA process is probably dead". Scotusblog. Archived from the original on November 6, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-07.  mirror
  11. ^ Andy Worthington (2010-05-19). "Who is the Syrian Released from Guantanamo to Bulgaria?". The Public Record. Retrieved 2010-05-20. Today (May 17), Saba, the Yemen News Agency, reported that the Yemeni released in Spain is named Yasin, and that he was released after he “was found cooperative with the authorities.” This suggests that he may be Yasim Basardah (aka Yasin Basardh), who won his habeas case last March. 

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