Guantanamo Prisoner, Torture Victim Deserves Justice: The John Marshall Law School International Human Rights Clinic Files Amicus Brief in Appeal

Chicago, Illinois, UNITED STATES

CHICAGO, Feb. 11, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- A Washington, D.C., court violated international human rights law when it denied one of the youngest persons held in Guantanamo Bay his right to redress for torture that he suffered while he was detained. That's according to an amicus brief filed by The John Marshall Law School International Human Rights Clinic (IHRC) with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Brief author Professor Steven D. Schwinn says the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia erred when it dismissed the lawsuit of Mohammed Jawad, who was held at Guantanamo from 2003 until 2009. John Marshall has filed the only "friend of the court" brief on Jawad's appeal thus far.

Jawad made international headlines as one of the youngest prisoners to be detained at Guantanamo. The government initially claimed that Jawad injured U.S. soldiers and their interpreter when he threw a grenade at a military vehicle in 2002. But a military judge ruled Jawad's confession inadmissible, after learning that Jawad confessed only after he was tortured by Afghan police. The judge also found that Jawad suffered "abusive conduct and cruel and inhuman treatment" while wrongly detained at Guantanamo.

The government later dropped its case and maintained that Jawad was no longer detainable. After nearly seven years in wrongful detention, Jawad returned home to Afghanistan in 2009.

Jawad sued the U.S. government and several officials in 2014, claiming that while in detention he was beaten, kicked and pepper-sprayed; deprived of proper medical care; sexually humiliated; deprived of food and drink; and held in solitary confinement. The district court dismissed the case in summer 2015; Jawad appealed in September.
"The district court's ruling denies Mr. Jawad an effective remedy and thus violates his well-settled right to an effective judicial remedy under international human rights law," wrote Schwinn, co-director of John Marshall's IHRC.
The responsibility of the U.S. to provide a judicial remedy is heightened because Jawad was a minor at the time, Schwinn noted. The brief continues the work of the International Human Rights Clinic fighting for lawful treatment of prisoners while incarcerated. The IHRC has produced research on the use of solitary confinement in U.S. detention centers, especially involving immigrant detainees.
About the John Marshall Community Legal Clinics

John Marshall offers several clinical experiences through its Community Legal Clinics, including the International Human Rights Clinic and the nationally recognized Veterans Legal Support Center & Clinic. The IHRC offers law students a background in human rights advocacy through the practical experience of working on international human rights cases and projects. The National Jurist magazine has named John Marshall among the best in the country in providing practical training to law students. John Marshall earned an A- from the publication that is followed by current and future law students, law educators and the legal community.
About The John Marshall Law School

The John Marshall Law School, founded in 1899, is an independent law school located in the heart of Chicago's legal, financial and commercial districts. The 2016 U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Graduate Schools ranks John Marshall's Lawyering Skills Program fifth, its Trial Advocacy Program 16th and its Intellectual Property Law Program 17th in the nation. Since its inception, John Marshall has been a pioneer in legal education and has been guided by a tradition of diversity, innovation, access and opportunity.


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