Federal judge rules detention of Guantánamo Bay prisoner unlawful

This is the first time in ten years that a Guantanamo Bay detainee won a writ of habeas corpus petition. 

Updated: October 21, 2021 - 5:27pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that a Guantánamo Bay prisoner was being unlawfully detained by the U.S. government.

According to The Hill, U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta granted Asadullah Haroon Gul's petition for a writ of habeas corpus, subsequently ruling that the U.S. was detaining him illegally.

"This is a historic victory for the rule of law and a much-needed reminder to the U.S. government that there are limits on what it may do in the name of national security," said attorney Tara Plochocki.

Despite the judge's ruling, it is not yet clear if Gul will be released from the military prison.

Gul was captured by the U.S. government in 2007 while allegedly participating in an Islamic militia group in Afghanistan. Officials believed Gul was an active member of a terrorist organization linked to al Qaeda. 

According to the New York Times, the federal judge concluded that Gul had no previous ties to al Qaeda, which was the legal rationale behind his detention. 

This is the first time in ten years that a Guantánamo Bay detainee won a writ of habeas corpus petition.