Vigil and Clarke: From the Habeas Petition for Ali (Hassan Anvar)
From: Petition for Original Writ of Habeas Corpus (Petitioner Ali)
In the Supreme Court of the United States
February 12, 2007
According to interrogation records, Petitioner [Ali] had settled in a small community of Uyghur expatriates in Afghanistan in 2001; had fled to Pakistan in December in 2001, after the U.S. bombing of Afghanistan; and was captured [REDACTED] in December 2001, transferred [REDACTED] to U.S. control [REDACTED] in January 2002; and brought to Guantanamo in February 2002, where he has remained since. See, e.g., BN [= Bates numbered pages] 15, 79-80, 83, 86, 92, 107.
After being brought to Guantanamo, Petitioner [Ali] was subjected to at [REDACTED] interrogations. See BN 36-35, 36-42, 43-44, 45-47, 48-51, 52-53. [REDACTED] BN 36. On the basis of these interrogations, interrogators concluded, in reports dated December 6, 2002 and April 26, 2003, that Petitioner was in Afghanistan "to train and learn to fight for the Uyghur cause against Chinese oppression and was not fighting for the Taliban or AI Qaida," and that Petitioner [Ali] "does not represent a threat to the United States nor its interests." BN 82-83; see BN 66. [REDACTED]
All efforts should be made to expedite the release of [Petitioner] and grant him political asylum in a country not under Chinese rule in order to avoid being returned to China where he is certain he will face torture and execution for being an ethnic Uyghur, who lived in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
BN 83. On November 16, 2004, the CSRT [or Combatant Status Review Tribunal] (Panel 18) determined that Ali was "not properly classified as an enemy combatant." BN 14. CSRTs also determined that five other Uyghurs were not properly classified as enemy combatants.
Declaring that the CSRT's determinations as to Petitioner [Ali] and the five other Uyghurs were in error, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Affairs Matthew Waxman directed that their classifications be reconsidered. (BN 101-102, 107.) In asserting the supposed error, Mr. Waxman noted that "16 other Uighurs with identical circumstances were determined to be ECs." (BN 102.) In response--and, Petitioner submits, contrary to CSRT procedures for non-enemy combatant designations (see, e.g:, Wolfowitz Memo at 3)--the authorities undertook an "inculplery [sic] search." (BN 85.) On January 18, 2005, the military officer charged with conducting that search, Lieutenant Joseph R. Namie, submitted the results of his search (BN 85-86). On January 21, 2005, a new CSRT (Panel 32) was convened to reassess Petitioner's non-enemy combatant status (BN 8) and sometime thereafter redesignated Petitioner as an "enemy combatant" (BN 10).
In an email chain culminating in a message to the Chair of CSRT Panel 32, included as Exhibit R-18 of the CSRT Record, the following text appeared:
"Two points to consider in determining [Petitioner's] status
* 16 of 22 Uighers have been classified as EC [or Enemy Combatant] and the same criteria applied (Per SPECIAL Uigher Chart) to them as well. Inconsistencies will not cast a favorable light on the CSRT process or the work done by OARDEC. This does not justify making a change in and of itself, but is a filter by which to look at the overall Uigher transaction since they are all considered the same notwithstanding a specific act.
* By properly classifying them as EC, then there is an opportunity to (1) further exploit them here in GTMO and (2) when they are tranferred to a third country, it will be controlled transfer in status. The consensus is that all Uighers will be transferred to a third country as soon as the plan is worked out."
BN 86 (emphasis added). The Legal Advisor who reviewed the CSRT Record in Petitioner's, case described the first of the quoted paragraphs as "troubling" but stated that he found "no indication that the Tribunal adopted this inappropriate 'one size fits all' policy." BN 7.
See the CSRT Proceedings for Hassan Anvar (ISN 250). Mr. Anvar was not the only prisoner to undergo multiple CSRTs. We know also of Abdel Hamid al-Ghizzawi (ISN 654) and of Abdullah Mohammed Khan (ISN 556), the latter undergoing three CSRTs. In every case, a CSRT finding that a prisoner had been improperly classified as an enemy combatant was redone, sometimes repeatedly, until a finding of proper classification was reached (See the report entitled No Hearing Hearings by the Seton Hall team led by Mark Denbeaux). See also the CSRT Proceeding for Abdel Hamid al-Ghizzawi and the CSRT Proceedings for Abdullah Mohammed Khan.