At the time the DOJ’s filing was submitted, the Center for Constitutional Right’s Omar Farah, who represents Ba Odah, slammed the government for its continued mistreatment of his client and the overall secrecy surrounding the treatment of those on hunger strike.
The government’s action in the case, said Farah in a statement, “is a transparent attempt to hide the fact that the Obama administration’s interagency process for closing Guantánamo is an incoherent mess, and it is plainly intended to conceal the inconsistency between the administration’s stated intention to close Guantánamo and the steps taken to transfer cleared men. The administration simply wants to avoid public criticism and accountability.”
Calling the government’s secrecy surrounding the government’s petition against Ba Odah unnecessary, Farah continued by saying “there is nothing sensitive about this pivotal moment that needs to be withheld from the public. Mr. Ba Odah’s grave medical condition is not in dispute. Given that he has been cleared since 2009, there is no dispute about whether he should be approved for transfer. All the president has to decide is whether to exercise his discretion not to contest the motion and release Mr. Ba Odah so that he does not die.”
Reporting on the case of Ba Odah earlier this month, The Intercept’s Murtaza Hussain discussed some of the deeper dynamics that have left the 30-year-old Yemeni national under lock and key despite never being convicted of a crime and the fact that he is now among more than fifty other detainees who have received approval to be release to a foreign country:
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