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Khan v. Obama/ Khan v. Gates

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Synopsis

CCR’s representation of Majid Khan involves two cases: Khan v. Obama, a habeas corpus petition filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and Khan v. Gates, a petition for review under the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Status

Description

Majid Khan is 33 years old. He is a citizen of Pakistan with political asylum in the United States. He is married and has a young daughter he has never met. His father and several of his siblings and other relatives live near Baltimore, Maryland.
 
Majid Khan is unique among Guantánamo prisoners in two important respects. First, he has long had legal status in the United States, as well as other substantial, voluntary ties to this country, which vest him with full constitutional rights. Second, in March 2003, he was captured and forcibly disappeared by the United States. There is no serious dispute that he was abducted, imprisoned and tortured by U.S. officials at secret overseas “black sites” operated by the Central Intelligence Agency before he was transferred to Guantánamo Bay in September 2006. Nor is there any serious dispute that Majid Khan’s detention and interrogation violated U.S. and international law. Majid Khan was subjected to an aggressive CIA detention and interrogation program notable for its elaborate planning and ruthless application of torture. The methods inflicted on Majid Khan – which remain classified – were deliberately and systematically applied for maximum effect. Majid Khan admitted anything his interrogators demanded of him, regardless of the truth, in order to end his suffering. As a direct result of this ordeal, Majid Khan has suffered and continues to suffer severe physical and psychological trauma from which he is unlikely ever to recover fully.

 
 

Timeline

Introductory Timeline

On September 29, 2006, CCR filed a habeas corpus petition on Majid Khan’s behalf in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. It was filed days before passage of the Military Commission Act of 2006 (“MCA”), which attempted to strip federal courts of power to consider habeas corpus cases filed by Guantánamo detainees.  Click here to view document.
 
On October 26, 2006, the government objected to Majid Khan meeting with CCR attorneys because of the “unique circumstances” of his case. The government argued that Majid Khan may have come into possession of highly classified information while in secret CIA detention and could not, under the current rules for counsel meetings, have any communications with his lawyers.  Click here to view document.
 
On November 3, 2006, CCR filed a response brief to the government’s efforts to deny counsel access to Majid Khan. The brief argued that the Bush Administration’s effort to deny Majid Khan access to counsel “ignores the Court’s historical function under Article III of the Constitution to exercise its independent judgment.” CCR also argued that the court had adequate tools to keep sensitive classified information from being disclosed and that, in this case, the government was abusing its classification authority to conceal illegal conduct or acts that will embarrass the United States. 
 
On May 15, 2007, the U.S. government released Majid Khan’s Combatant Status Review Tribunal (CSRT) transcript. The CSRT hearing occurred on April 15, 2007. Several portions of the transcript were redacted.  Click here to view document.
 
Majid Khan nonetheless continued to be denied access to his attorneys at CCR in connection with his habeas case pending the U.S. Supreme Court’s final resolution of the question whether the MCA validly stripped federal courts of power to consider habeas corpus cases filed by Guantánamo detainees.
 
 
Timeline of Majid Khan’s Detainee Treatment Act Case
 
On August 15, 2007, Majid Khan filed a petition with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”) to review his case under the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 (“DTA”). Although the DTA did not provide an adequate substitute for habeas corpus, Majid Khan filed a petition for review because he was unable to obtain access to his counsel in connection with his habeas case.  Click here to view document.
 
On October 12, 2007, Majid Khan’s CCR attorneys signed an emergency stipulation to entry of an interim protective order. This enabled his attorneys to visit him at Guantánamo Bay in connection with his DTA case.  Click here to view document.
 
On October 16, 2007, Majid Khan met with his CCR attorneys for the first time at Guantánamo Bay.
 
On November 30, 2007, CCR moved for an order requiring the government to preserve evidence of Majid Khan’s torture. Click here to view document. 
 
On December 6, 2007, CCR moved to declare that interrogation methods used against Majid Khan constitute torture.  Click here to view document.
 
On December 11, 2007, the D.C. Circuit entered an interim order requiring the government to preserve evidence of Majid Khan’s torture.  Click here to view document.  
 
On January 7, 2008, Majid Khan filed a reply brief in support of his torture motions. Attached were statements by Majid Khan.  Click here to view document. 
 
On March 6, 2008, the New York Times Company, the Associated Press, and USA Today moved to unseal documents pertaining to Majid Khan’s case. They argued that the government’s actions to block public access to Majid Khan’s court filings violate the First Amendment.  Click here to view document.
 
On March 28, 2008, the government filed its opposition to the New York Times Company, the Associated Press, and USA Today’s motion to unseal.  Click here to view document.  
 
On April 7, 2008, the New York Times Company, Associated Press, and USA Today filed a reply brief in support of their motion to unseal.  Click here to view document.
 
On May 9, 2008, Majid Khan’s attorneys filed a motion to unseal documents pertaining to his case, and a motion to exceed the page limit for its brief.  Click here to view document.
 
On May 16, 2008, the government opposed Majid Khan’s motion to exceed the page limit, and, further, moved to hold his motion to unseal in abeyance.  Click here to view document.  
 
On May 20, 2008, CCR filed a reply memorandum in further support of its motion to exceed the page limit. In addition, CCR opposed the government’s motion to hold the motion to seal in abeyance.  Click here to view document.
 
On June 3, 2008, the D.C. Circuit issued an order denying the government’s motion to hold Majid Khan’s motion to unseal in abeyance; referring his motion to unseal to the merits panel to which the case was assigned; referring the New York Times Company, Associated Press, and USA Today’s motion to unseal to the merits panel to which the case was assigned; and dismissing as moot Majid Khan’s motion to exceed the page limit. The court also ordered that its interim preservation order remain in effect.  Click here to view document. 
 
On June 12, 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court held in Boumediene v. Bush, 553 U.S. 723 (2008), that Guantánamo detainees have a constitutionally protected right to challenge their detention through habeas corpus.  Click here to view document.
 
On August 7, 2008, heavily redacted copies of declarations filed by CCR attorneys were publicly disclosed by the government.  Click here to view Gutierrez Declaration.  Click here to view Dixon Declaration.
 
On April 24, 2009, the D.C. Circuit issued an order dismissing Majid Khan’s DTA petition for lack of jurisdiction based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s affirmance of the right of Guantánamo detainees to challenge their detention through habeas corpus. The D.C. Circuit transferred all pending motions filed by CCR on behalf of Majid Khan to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (“District Court”) for consideration in his pending habeas case. The court also held that the New York Times Company, the Associated Press, and USA Today’s motion to unseal Majid Khan’s court documents was moot.  Click here to view document. 
 
 
Timeline of Majid Khan’s Habeas Corpus Case
 
On January 9, 2009, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Boumediene decision, a coordinating judge of the District Court entered a protective order in Majid Khan’s habeas case, which cleared the way for access to his CCR attorneys in connection with his habeas case.  Click here to view document.
 
On February 27, 2009, the government filed its classified factual return in Majid Khan’s case.  Click here to view document.
 
On March 13, 2009, the government filed a memorandum setting forth its purported legal authority to detain prisoners at Guantánamo Bay.  Click here to view document.
 
On March 20, 2009, Majid Khan and other detainees filed a joint memorandum in reply to the government’s March 13, 2009 memorandum regarding its detention authority.  Click here to view document.  
 
On March 20, 2009, Majid Khan filed a supplemental memorandum regarding the government’s detention authority.  Click here to view document. 
 
On March 20, 2009, the government served Majid Khan with an unclassified, protected factual return.  Click here to view document.
 
On March 23, 2009, the government filed a reply memorandum to Majid Khan’s supplemental memorandum regarding the government’s detention authority.  Click here to view document.
 
On April 7, 2009, CCR attorneys filed a motion for expedited judgment.   Click here to view document.  
 
On April 22, 2009, the District Court issued an opinion concerning the government’s detention authority, holding in part that the “President has the authority to detain persons who were part of, or substantially supported, the Taliban or Al Qaeda forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, provided that the term ‘substantially supported’ and ‘part of’ are interpreted to encompass only individuals who were members of the enemy organization’s armed forces, as that term is intended under the laws of war, at the time of their capture.”  Click here to view document.  
 
On April 27, 2009, the government filed a memorandum in opposition to Majid Khan’s motion for expedited judgment.  Click here to view document.
 
On May 7, 2009, Majid Khan submitted a notice to the District Court seeking to stay his case temporarily while the government searched for exculpatory evidence.  Click here to view document.   
 
On May 11, 2009, the District Court stayed Majid Khan’s habeas case temporarily.  Click here to view document. 
 
On June 1, 2009, a coordinating judge of the District Court denied the government’s request to unilaterally designate unclassified factual returns as “protected,” including Majid Khan’s factual return.  Click here to view document. 
 
On June 8, 2009, the District Court denied Majid Khan’s motion for expedited judgment.  Click here to view document. 
 
On July 29, 2009, the government filed an unclassified, unprotected factual return on the public docket.  Click here to view document. 
 
On April 19, 2013, Majid Khan moved to dismiss his habeas case, without prejudice, pursuant to the terms of his plea agerement in the case, United States v. Majid Khan, before a military commission at Guantanamo  Bay. The motion was granted and the case was dismissed on April 23, 2013.

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