ADC-ICT Representatives meet with Guantanamo Bay Defence Lawyer
On 20 April 2018, ADC-ICT Representatives, Dragan Ivetic and Dominic Kennedy met with Ms. Alka Pradhan, Human Rights Lawyer for Amamar al-Baluchi who is detained in Camp Seven at Guantanamo Bay and awaiting trial. Al-Baluchi is accused of running money for the attacks of 11 September 2001. He was arrested in April 2003 and held in secret CIA detention until September 2006 when he was transferred to Guantanamo Bay. In November 2009, Attorney General, Eric Holder, announced that al-Baluchi, along with four co-defendants in the 9/11 prosecution, would be moved from Guantanamo to stand trial in a federal district court in New York City. However, in April 2011, the decision was reversed and Holder announced that they would be tried before a military commission in Guantanamo.
Pradhan discussed the treatment and conditions of detention which al-Baluchi has suffered during his detention over the last 15 years. She highlighted that al-Baluchi was subjected to ‘enhanced interrogation’ which amounted to severe torture and that he suffers many issues as a result. This torture took place when he was detained in one of the CIA ‘black sites’ before transfer to Guantanamo.
The case is currently in the pre-trial stage and a trial is not anticipated to commence for years to come. Pradhan stated that the treatment which is received in Guantanamo falls short of the human rights which should be afforded to all individuals. She also discussed the difficulties that the defence lawyers have in investigating due to limited access to information from the government and how fair trial rights are not being respected by the military commission.