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Developments in GTMO Emergency Motion on Water and Cold

Wells Bennett
Monday, April 8, 2013, 8:53 PM
Earlier today, in Anam et. al. v.

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Earlier today, in Anam et. al. v. Obama, the district court sought further briefing on its power to hear a GTMO detainee's complaints of mistreatment by detention personnel. Background: an April 15 hearing had been set on hunger striker Mus'ab Omar al-Madhwani's emergency motion "for humanitarian and life-saving relief."  In the filing, the detainee's attorneys said GTMO officials had denied al-Madhwani potable water, and also set cell temperatures to exceedingly cold levels while failing to provide al-Madwhani with sufficiently warm clothing.  The United States denied this and insisted that Section 7 of the Military Commissions Act of 2009 barred jurisdiction over al-Madhwani's claims in any event. It seems the court wishes to learn more, both in briefing and during the April 15 hearing, about the latter question---whether al-Madhwani has raised any matters within the court's jurisdiction.  And apparently, at the hearing, the court also will not take evidence as to which party's account of the detainee's conditions of confinement (al-Madhwani's or the government's) is true. From the docket:
MINUTE ORDER: Pursuant to the matters discussed during the teleconference held in open court on April 8, 2013, it hereby is ordered that compliance with the Court's April 5, 2013 order shall be deferred pending further order of the Court. It also is ordered that no later than 4:30pm on Wednesday, April 10, 2013, the petitioner shall file a reply to the government's opposition brief that addresses the basis for the Court's exercise of jurisdiction. The government shall file a response to the petitioner's reply brief no later than 4:30pm on Thursday, April 11, 2013. Arguments regarding the question of jurisdiction shall be presented on Monday, April 15, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. in Courtroom 25A. Signed by Judge Thomas F. Hogan on April 8, 2013. Minute Entry for Telephone Conference held before Judge Thomas F. Hogan on 4/8/13 : The Video Motion Hearing previously scheduled for 4/15/13 at 10:00 AM before Judge Thomas F. Hogan will be converted to a legal argument hearing regarding jurisdiction, with no witnesses to be called. The hearing will now be held in Courtroom 25A. (Court Reporter : Chantal Geneus) (kk) (Entered: 04/08/2013)

Wells C. Bennett was Managing Editor of Lawfare and a Fellow in National Security Law at the Brookings Institution. Before coming to Brookings, he was an Associate at Arnold & Porter LLP.

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