Saifullah Paracha v. George W. Bush

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Event.png Saifullah Paracha v. George W. Bush  Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Date8 December 2004 - 18 November 2008
Typelegal case
PlaintiffsSaifullah Paracha
DefendantsGeorge W. Bush
DescriptionA habeas corpus petition filed on behalf of a prisoner of Guantanamo Bay.

Saifullah Paracha v. George W. Bush (Civil Action No. 04-cv-02022) is a habeas corpus petition filed on behalf of Guantanamo detainee Saifullah Paracha.[1]

His lawyers include Gaillard T. Hunt.[2]

His case was presented to US District Court judge Paul L. Friedman.[3]

On 21 December 2004, the Department of Defense published fifty-eight pages of unclassified documents related to his Combatant Status Review Tribunal. The documents included many character references, including one from his American partner, a Jewish man, who assured his Tribunal that he was held Judaism and the USA in high regard.

Benjamin Wittes, a scholar at the Brookings Institute, has notes significant developments in the case, as recently as April 2016.[4][5] Brendan M. Driscoll, writing about in the Fordham International Law Journal, devoted eight pages to a discussion as to whether the Paracha petition showed the Guantanamo Protective Order was too restrictive. [6]

Medical care

Paracha is an elderly man, with heart disease.[7][8]

Military Commissions Act

The Military Commissions Act of 2006 mandated that Guantanamo captives were no longer entitled to access the US civil justice system, so all outstanding habeas corpus petitions were stayed.[9]

Boumediene v. Bush

On June 12, 2008 the United States Supreme Court ruled, in Boumediene v. Bush, that the Military Commissions Act could not remove the right for Guantanamo captives to access the US Federal Court system. And all previous Guantanamo captives' habeas petitions were eligible to be re-instated.


Saifullah Paracha's habeas was re-filed on July 5, 2008.[10]

On 15 July 2008 Kristine A. Huskey filed a "notice of petitioners' request for 30 days' notice of transfer" on behalf of Paracha and several dozen other captives.[11] The petition would prevent the Department of Defense from transferring him out of US jurisdiction without giving his attorney's thirty days' notice. The Department of Defense had transferred some captives to countries where they were subsequently subjected to abusive treatment — even though they had active habeas corpus petitions.

On 21 July 2008 DoJ official Paul A. Dean challenged Paracha's attorneys' request for discovery.[12] Dean argued that, due to time constraints: "respondents respectfully submit that the discovery relief requested by petitioner is not appropriate at this time."

On 27 September 2008 Zachary Katznelson and Cori Crider of Reprieve filed a "notice of authorization" on behalf of Saifullah Paracha.[13] The document states: "Pursuant to Judge Hogan’s July 29, 2008 Order, counsel for Petitioner Saifullah Paracha respectfully submit the attached document authorizing counsel to pursue this action. See Exhibit A."—but no attachment was published.

On 23 October 2008 Gaillard T. Hunt opposed the governments's motion to dismiss improper respondents.[14] Paracha's petition, like many others, named several other officials in addition to President Bush. The Department of Justice moved to have all the other respondents struck from the petition.

On 31 October On 2008 DoJ official Kathryn C. Mason filed a reply memorandum to the DoJ's motion to dismiss improper respondents for this petition, and fourteen other petitions.[15] Mason wrote: “Petitioner Paracha (No. 04-cv-2022) argues that Respondents have waived any objections to the naming of the respondents in his petition, because Respondents did not challenge service of process or this Court’s jurisdiction over the named respondents via a Rule 12(b) motion. Paracha Opp., 08-mc-442 Dkt#790, p. 4. However, Petitioner’s argument is misplaced. Respondents are not challenging in this motion service of process or personal jurisdiction with respect to these improper respondents. Rather, the basis of Respondents’ motion is a challenge to the propriety of naming these respondents in Petitioners’ habeas claim. This challenge is not waived pursuant to Fed. R.Civ. Proc. 12(h)(1), as Petitioner contends, even if that Rule applied here,13 and can be brought at this time.” [16]

On 18 November 2008 DoJ official David H. White filed a "statement of legal justification for detention" for this petition, and for 54 other petitions.[17]


  4. = quote = All of sudden, however, long-dormant habeas cases are, like the walking dead, coming to life ... Paracha's case now has a status conference scheduled for May 5. He has also asked for arguments on a motion that "various Congressional enactments restricting the executive branch’s release or transfer of prisoners from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, be declared void as bills of attainder."
  5. quote = It does seem odd ... that every non-government employee in the world can discuss what the Wikileaked documents say about Guantanamo detainees except their own habeas counsel — who remain gagged as a consequence of their obligation to "protect" classified information that is all over the Internet. I find myself quite sympathetic to this motion that David Remes filed today in Paracha v. Obama.
  6. quote = It also examines a relevant third position, not arising in the Bismullah and Parhat cases, but articulated in Paracha v. Gates, a habeas corpus case, which maintains that the Green Protective Order is flawed because it is too restrictive.
  7. =
  8. quote= Overall, they contend that the U.S. military has wrongly designated this foreign national an “enemy combatant” in the war on "terrorism", that lower courts’ failure to act on his habeas challenge is an unconstitutional denial of the habeas writ, and that he has a right to be transferred out of Guantanamo so that he can get adequate medical treatment for a heart ailment. His challenges in lower courts have been denied, at least as to the medical treatment issue, but his claims against his “combatant” status and his detention remain on hold because the Circuit Court continues to ponder how to decide scores of detainee cases in a pending proceeding that has run for 23 months. }}
  16. , July 2008
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