Dig Into the Gitmo Detainee Lawsuits

Aug. 12, 2010: This chart has been updated.

This chart contains documents and information about the 53 Guantanamo detainees whose lawsuits seeking freedom have been decided by federal judges. More than 50 similar lawsuits are pending.

Thirty-eight of the men were found to be eligible for release, but one man’s victory was reversed when the government appealed. Sixteen detainees have lost their cases. Of the 37 men now judged to be unlawfully imprisoned, 13 remain in indefinite detention, in some cases while the government appeals the rulings. (Their names are in red.) Each has been held at Guantanamo for seven years or longer. Detainees who’ve lost their cases have appealed all but the most recent decisions, but they still have time to file challenges to those new rulings.

The detainees’ Internment Serial Numbers link to entries in the New York TimesGuantanamo Docket, which contains records originally considered by the military in deciding to detain these men. (Note: The spellings vary by news outlet. We’ve used the spellings given in the federal court dockets.)

Name Internment Serial No. Nationality Current Age Circumstances of Capture Summary of Allegations Status Reasons for Court's Decision Judge Court Documents
Ravil Mingazov

(See his entry in our chart on mistreatment.)
702 Russia 42 Captured in Pakistan in March 2002. The government accused Mingazov of joining a terrorist group associated with al-Qaida or the Taliban and receiving military training from al-Qaida. Judge granted the detainee's habeas petition on May 13, 2010. Mingazov remains held at Guantanamo, while the government appeals the decision. The judge rejected the government's case, which rested largely on the detainee's interrogation statements, because the detainee had probably incriminated himself only due to threats he'd otherwise be returned to dangerous circumstances in Russia. The statements were also uncorroborated and full of errors, according to the judge. Henry Kennedy Jr.
Mohamed Mohamed Hassan Odaini 681 Yemen 27 Seized by Pakistani authorities on March 28, 2002. The government asserted that Odaini was a part of al-Qaida because he was arrested at a guesthouse allegedly connected to the terrorist network. Judge granted habeas petition on May 26, 2010. Odaini was sent back to Yemen July 13. The judge said the evidence "overwhelmingly" supported Odaini's claim that he was a student not affiliated with al-Qaida, who visited the suspect guesthouse for the first time the night he was arrested. U.S. officials themselves had said, numerous times since 2002, that Odaini didn't belong at Guantanamo, the judge noted. Henry Kennedy Jr.
Hussain Salem Mohammed Almerfedi 1015 Yemen 32 or 33 Arrested by Iranian police approximately January 2002. The government accused Almerfedi of being an al-Qaida facilitator who helped people cross from Iran to fight U.S. forces in Afghanistan. Judge granted habeas petition on July 8, 2010. Almerfedi remains held at Guantanamo. The judge rejected the government's evidence -- nearly all of it summaries of statements another detainee gave during interrogations -- as "inherently unreliable" or too general. Paul Friedman
Abd al Rathman Abdu Abu Ghayth Sulayman

(See his entry in our chart on mistreatment.)
223 Yemen 30 or 31 Captured in Pakistan in December 2001. The government accused Sulayman of traveling from Yemen to Afghanistan and Pakistan as part of the Taliban. Judge denied habeas petition on July 20, 2010. Sulayman remains held at Guantanamo. Judge Walton decided, based on Sulayman's interrogation statements, which Sulayman said were "truthful," that the detainee was part of the Taliban. Reggie Walton
Adnan Farhan Abdul Latif 156 Yemen 34 Arrested in Pakistan. The court's opinion, explaining both sides' positions and discussing the evidence, isn't yet public. But the government alleged in military proceedings that Latif was an al-Qaida fighter who traveled to Afghanistan to battle U.S. forces. Judge granted habeas petition on July 21, 2010. Latif remains held at Guantanamo. The court's opinion discussing the evidence isn't yet public. But in a brief order announcing the result, Judge Kennedy told the government to "take all necessary and appropriate diplomatic steps to facilitate Latif’s release forthwith" and report back on Aug. 20. Henry Kennedy Jr.

ProPublica’s Christopher Flavelle contributed reporting to this chart. Researchers Lisa Schwartz and Sheelagh McNeill also contributed to this database.

Produced by Krista Kjellman Schmidt, ProPublica