GOOD NEWS on June 26! Odaini Going Home from GTMO

We have great news to share today on June 26, the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture:

Mohammed al-Odaini will be released from Guantanamo back to his home country of Yemen. He has been held without charge by the US government for over 8 years, since the age of 18. He was cleared for release in 2005.  Check out this Washington Post story for more info.

For years, Amnesty International members have taken action for Mohammed–writing countless letters and emails, holding vigils and demonstrations, organizing film screenings, meeting with elected officials and gathering petition signatures.

THANK YOU for taking action.

From Mohammed’s lawyer, David Remes:

“Mr al-Odaini’s release is cause for celebration. After Judge Kennedy ruled in his favor, it was by no means clear that the government would release him, when the government would release him, or where the government would send him. We had an uphill fight. But with Amnesty International’s support–and your support–we persuaded the government to return Mr. al-Odaini to Yemen and reunite him with his family. Only the kind of broad public support Amnesty brings to bear could ensure such a happy ending. I cannot thank you enough.”

From Matthew Alexander, former senior US military interrogator:

“I want to personally thank you for your help in securing the freedom of Mohammed Odaini. Your actions help keep America safe by ensuring that we live up to our principles — a critical part of long term strategy to counter violent extremists.  We can take pride in Mr Odaini’s release, but while we pause to appreciate this accomplishment, let’s not forget that justice still escapes others.”

Amnesty International’s Counter Terror With Justice Campaign will of course continue to call on President Obama and Congress to:

  • Provide Mohammed al-Odaini with access to effective redress and remedy for his time held in US custody.
  • Immediately release anyone held in Guantanamo who is not to be charged and tried in accordance with international law.
  • Ensure accountability for US torture and other human rights violations, as required by law.

Please know that your actions DO make a difference in the lives of individual people.

AIUSA welcomes a lively and courteous discussion that follow our Community Guidelines. Comments are not pre-screened before they post but AIUSA reserves the right to remove any comments violating our guidelines.

18 thoughts on “GOOD NEWS on June 26! Odaini Going Home from GTMO

  1. Congratulations, Amnesty International, for your valliant, dauntless efforts in winning the freedom of Mahammed a-Odaini – after a tortuous struggle against his eight years of incarceration- without- cause. A noble job, finally done. A tribute to you, David Remes, his attorney, and other proponents in his behalf over the years.

    Carol Remes

  2. Great news, thank you for letting us know–and for giving us all the chance to stand up for human rights.

  3. Congratulations, Amnesty International, for your valliant, dauntless efforts in winning the freedom of Mahammed a-Odaini – after a tortuous struggle against his eight years of incarceration- without- cause. A noble job, finally done. A tribute to you, David Remes, his attorney, and other proponents in his behalf over the years.

    Carol Remes

  4. Great news! Thank you for all your hard work on this and on many other difficult humans rights cases and issues.

  5. Great news, thank you for letting us know–and for giving us all the chance to stand up for human rights.

  6. Great news! Thank you for all your hard work on this and on many other difficult humans rights cases and issues.

  7. Odaini was in the wrong place at the wonrg time doing the wrong thing. He was not caught jaywalking or even robbing a bank, he was in a war zone fighting against the U.S./Northern Alliance. International law (The Law of Land Warfare – a.k.a. the Geneva Conventions) called him an illegal combatant. We called him a detainee. He was therefore given more than he earned or was entitled to by all accounts except that of the most liberal left Pagan utilitarian humanists. At what point will you admit that rights can only be afforded those who take responsibility for their behavior? At what point can we, with intellectual honesty, talk about nearly 3,000 innocent people who were mercilessly murdered on 9/11/01? What rule of law covers what was done then? Abraham Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus in the United States, and established military commissions for civilians during the American Civil War. Lincoln was focused on only one thing, preserving the Union. Obama must do the same, and keeping Gitmo open is an important part of winning the Global War on Terror, which is a war we must fight to win every day. I hleped release the very first detainee repatriated, who was a drug addict who fed his habit by fighting for the Taliban. There were others who, in the early days while I was the ranking Army Medical Department officer in the Joint Detainee Operations Group, we learned were of not intelligence value eventually, and they were retruned also. In war, you must do what is necessary to win, or you face anihilation. And the lesson for Odaini is, be careful who you hang out with, and oh, by the way, stay out of war zones if you don't want to become a casualty or detainee.

    Read more about the real story of detention and medical duty at Gitmo in my new book, "Saving Grace at Guantanamo Bay: A Memoir of a Citizen Warrior."
    http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/Sav

  8. Odaini was in the wrong place at the wonrg time doing the wrong thing. He was not caught jaywalking or even robbing a bank, he was in a war zone fighting against the U.S./Northern Alliance. International law (The Law of Land Warfare – a.k.a. the Geneva Conventions) called him an illegal combatant. We called him a detainee. He was therefore given more than he earned or was entitled to by all accounts except that of the most liberal left Pagan utilitarian humanists. At what point will you admit that rights can only be afforded those who take responsibility for their behavior? At what point can we, with intellectual honesty, talk about nearly 3,000 innocent people who were mercilessly murdered on 9/11/01? What rule of law covers what was done then? Abraham Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus in the United States, and established military commissions for civilians during the American Civil War. Lincoln was focused on only one thing, preserving the Union. Obama must do the same, and keeping Gitmo open is an important part of winning the Global War on Terror, which is a war we must fight to win every day. I hleped release the very first detainee repatriated, who was a drug addict who fed his habit by fighting for the Taliban. There were others who, in the early days while I was the ranking Army Medical Department officer in the Joint Detainee Operations Group, we learned were of not intelligence value eventually, and they were retruned also. In war, you must do what is necessary to win, or you face anihilation. And the lesson for Odaini is, be careful who you hang out with, and oh, by the way, stay out of war zones if you don't want to become a casualty or detainee.

    Read more about the real story of detention and medical duty at Gitmo in my new book, "Saving Grace at Guantanamo Bay: A Memoir of a Citizen Warrior."
    http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/Sav

  9. Odaini was in the wrong place at the wonrg time doing the wrong thing. He was not caught jaywalking or even robbing a bank, he was in a war zone fighting against the U.S./Northern Alliance. International law (The Law of Land Warfare – a.k.a. the Geneva Conventions) called him an illegal combatant. We called him a detainee. He was therefore given more than he earned or was entitled to by all accounts except that of the most liberal left Pagan utilitarian humanists. At what point will you admit that rights can only be afforded those who take responsibility for their behavior? At what point can we, with intellectual honesty, talk about nearly 3,000 innocent people who were mercilessly murdered on 9/11/01? What rule of law covers what was done then? Abraham Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus in the United States, and established military commissions for civilians during the American Civil War. Lincoln was focused on only one thing, preserving the Union. Obama must do the same, and keeping Gitmo open is an important part of winning the Global War on Terror, which is a war we must fight to win every day. I hleped release the very first detainee repatriated, who was a drug addict who fed his habit by fighting for the Taliban. There were others who, in the early days while I was the ranking Army Medical Department officer in the Joint Detainee Operations Group, we learned were of not intelligence value eventually, and they were retruned also. In war, you must do what is necessary to win, or you face anihilation. And the lesson for Odaini is, be careful who you hang out with, and oh, by the way, stay out of war zones if you don't want to become a casualty or detainee.

    Read more about the real story of detention and medical duty at Gitmo in my new book, "Saving Grace at Guantanamo Bay: A Memoir of a Citizen Warrior."
    http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/Sav

  10. Odaini was in the wrong place at the wonrg time doing the wrong thing. He was not caught jaywalking or even robbing a bank, he was in a war zone fighting against the U.S./Northern Alliance. International law (The Law of Land Warfare – a.k.a. the Geneva Conventions) called him an illegal combatant. We called him a detainee. He was therefore given more than he earned or was entitled to by all accounts except that of the most liberal left Pagan utilitarian humanists. At what point will you admit that rights can only be afforded those who take responsibility for their behavior? At what point can we, with intellectual honesty, talk about nearly 3,000 innocent people who were mercilessly murdered on 9/11/01? What rule of law covers what was done then? Abraham Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus in the United States, and established military commissions for civilians during the American Civil War. Lincoln was focused on only one thing, preserving the Union. Obama must do the same, and keeping Gitmo open is an important part of winning the Global War on Terror, which is a war we must fight to win every day. I hleped release the very first detainee repatriated, who was a drug addict who fed his habit by fighting for the Taliban. There were others who, in the early days while I was the ranking Army Medical Department officer in the Joint Detainee Operations Group, we learned were of not intelligence value eventually, and they were retruned also. In war, you must do what is necessary to win, or you face anihilation. And the lesson for Odaini is, be careful who you hang out with, and oh, by the way, stay out of war zones if you don’t want to become a casualty or detainee.

    Read more about the real story of detention and medical duty at Gitmo in my new book, “Saving Grace at Guantanamo Bay: A Memoir of a Citizen Warrior.”

    http://www.strategicpublishinggroup.com/title/SavingGraceAtGuantanamoBay.html

  11. Odiani was detained in Pakistan by Pakistani authorities in 2002 — not a war zone. He happened to be visiting a house when Pakistani authorities, looking for other people, raided it. This was at a time when the US was offering bounties for turning in foreigners. So, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but as the judge ruled in his case, he wasn't doing anything wrong. We know that 500 people have been released from GTMO because they're were swept up in a big net. It has taken years for the gov't to sort the mess out, and they're far from done.

    At the same time, bin Laden remains at large and KSM hasn't been tried, let alone convicted. In short, the US gov't has failed to ensure accoutnability for 9/11. Amnesty has called for accountability for 9/11 since 9/12/2001.

    Countering terror with terror has been a failure. General Petaeus has been a huge proponent of living our values to win the war, that we can't win if we lose hearts and minds through torture and illegal detention at Guantanamo.

    It's well past time to counter terror with the American justice system and standard law enforcement techniques. And in the American tradition, that means everyone has rights–the right to a fair trial, the right not to be tortured, etc–even Jeffrey Dahmer. I bet you'll want those rights if you're ever falsley accused of a crime.

  12. Odiani was detained in Pakistan by Pakistani authorities in 2002 — not a war zone. He happened to be visiting a house when Pakistani authorities, looking for other people, raided it. This was at a time when the US was offering bounties for turning in foreigners. So, he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, but as the judge ruled in his case, he wasn’t doing anything wrong. We know that 500 people have been released from GTMO because they’re were swept up in a big net. It has taken years for the gov’t to sort the mess out, and they’re far from done.

    At the same time, bin Laden remains at large and KSM hasn’t been tried, let alone convicted. In short, the US gov’t has failed to ensure accoutnability for 9/11. Amnesty has called for accountability for 9/11 since 9/12/2001.

    Countering terror with terror has been a failure. General Petaeus has been a huge proponent of living our values to win the war, that we can’t win if we lose hearts and minds through torture and illegal detention at Guantanamo.

    It’s well past time to counter terror with the American justice system and standard law enforcement techniques. And in the American tradition, that means everyone has rights–the right to a fair trial, the right not to be tortured, etc–even Jeffrey Dahmer. I bet you’ll want those rights if you’re ever falsley accused of a crime.