[Guest post by DRJ]
Catching up on a story from a couple of weeks ago, the Obama Administration has released Mohammed Jawad from Guanatanamo and returned him to Afghanistan:
“Mohammed Jawad returned to Afghanistan this week after a military judge ruled that he was coerced into confessing that he threw a grenade at an unmarked vehicle in the capital in 2002. The attack wounded two American soldiers and their interpreter.
Afghan police delivered Jawad into U.S. custody and about a month later he was sent to the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Jawad and his family say he was 12 when he was arrested, and that he is now 19 years old. The Pentagon has said a bone scan showed he was about 17 when taken into custody. His defense lawyers decline to give an exact age for Jawad, who does not have a birth certificate, but say photos taken in Guantanamo showed that he had not gone through puberty.”
Now his family plans to sue the United States:
“Lawyers and family members say Jawad was submitted to various types of torture while imprisoned, including sleep deprivation and beatings.
The family plans to sue for compensation in U.S. courts, said Maj. Eric Montalvo, one of the military lawyers who was defending Jawad. Montalvo, who finishes his military service this month and has already joined a private firm, said he will aid in the process but will not necessarily file the suit.
“I will not allow him not to be assisted,” Montalvo said, explaining that Jawad needs intensive psychological counseling and tutoring to make up for his lack of schooling. Jawad said he wants to become a doctor because he was impressed by the way doctors at Guantanamo helped people.”
For the sake of argument, let’s assume Jawad was wrongfully detained in Afghanistan and that it’s appropriate to release him from Guantanamo. Damages for wrongful detention might make sense, although I don’t know if there’s a basis for it under international law. But damages for the loss of schooling? I suspect Jawad had more access to schooling at Guantanamo than he would ever have had in Afghanistan, unless you count terror training school.
As for allegations of mistreatment, Jawad was apparently so mistreated that he wants to be like his captor’s doctors. If he was so mistreated, you’d think he’d rather be like his lawyer.