Adel Hamad was a teacher of elementary school orphans, a hospital worker, and someone who coordinated the delivery of food, medicine and blankets to refugees. He has been imprisoned for 5 years and classified as an enemy combatant, despite the lack of any allegations or evidence that he ever acted against the U.S. or its allies, or even had political sympathies for those who did. His friends and colleagues describe him as a funny, apolitical man who loved charity work and ping-pong. One of the U.S. Army Majors at his Tribunal called his detention unconscionable.
Growing evidence shows that the majority of prisoners in Guantanamo Bay have not committed any belligerent act against the U.S. or its allies. These prisoners, who have no legal recourse, have not been given their day in court. Nor have their detentions been scrutinized by a judge. They remain in jail year after year, separated from their families, often not fully knowing the accusations against them or the identity of their accusers.
The CIA, the Defense Department, commanders in the military, have all acknowledged that there are many innocents in jail. Yet instead of expediting their release, Congress recently eliminated the writ of habeas corpus, an essential safeguard enshrined in our Constitution, against an unchecked executive power. Before habeas corpus existed, rulers could throw people in jail without justification and without the prisoner having the right to defend himself in court.
The good news is that with the convening of the new congress in 2007, several senators are pressing to revisit the Military Commission Act, which nullified habeas corpus. This will no doubt help to shed new light on the situation of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay, and improve the chances of the release of Mr. Hamad and other innocent detainees.
You can help this cause by spreading the word of Adel Hamad's case to your friends and family. Read more at Project Hamad learn how you can be involved.