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Kuwait lawyer sues government officials for release of Guantanamo detainees

A Kuwaiti lawyer announced Tuesday that he has filed a lawsuit against Kuwait's prime minister and other government officials [AP report] in order to pressure authorities to facilitate the release of two Kuwaiti detainees at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST backgrounder]. Lawyer Adel Abdulhadi is seeking the release of Faiz Mohammed Ahmed al Kandari [NYT docket] and Fawzi Khalid Abdullah Fahad al Odah [JURIST news archive], each of whom have been held at Guantanamo for more than a decade. Al Kandari, 37, has lost on a habeas corpus petition but was never formally brought to trial. The US government dropped all charges against al Kandari earlier this month shortly after a Kuwaiti Ambassador announced that a delegate had started discussions [JURIST reports] with US officials for al Kandari's release. Al Odah petitioned the US Supreme Court [official website] in 2010 seeking to reverse a decision [JURIST report] of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit [official website] denying al Odah habeas relief. Al Odah was the first to make such an appeal [JURIST report] since the Court's 2008 ruling in Boumediene v. Bush [opinion text; JURIST report] that Guantanamo detainees have a constitutional right to bring habeas challenges in federal court.

Several Kuwaiti prisoners have been transferred to their home country from the Guantanamo detention facility. In December 2009 the US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] announced that detainee Fouad al Rabiah had been transferred to the Kuwaiti government [JURIST report]. Al Rabiah, a Kuwaiti national, had been held at Guantanamo Bay for nearly eight years under suspicion of aiding al Qaeda and the Taliban. Two months earlier the DOJ announced that detainee Khaled Al-Mutairi had been transferred after his almost eight years of detention [JURIST report]. Al-Mutairi, who had been accused of fighting against American troops in Afghanistan, was transferred after the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] ordered his release [JURIST report] in July 2009.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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