Britain: Can’t Comply With Order to Release Pakistani From Bagram

Court of Appeals 'Accepts' that US Is Just Going to Keep Detainee

Originally captured by British troops in Iraq in 2004, Bagram detainee Yunus Rahmatullah remains in US custody. And despite a writ of habeas corpus to bring Rahmatullah to Britain, a Court of Appeals today announced that it simply isn’t going to happen.

According to the Court’s statement, it simply isn’t going to be able to comply with the writ, and it “accepts” that failure. The justification, according to the government’s lawyer in the case James Eadie, is that the US simply isn’t going to release Rahmatullah under any circumstances.

“The Americans are not going to play ball,” insisted Eadie. “They don’t accept that we have an unqualified right and that they have an unqualified obligation under international law.”

Rahmatullah is being held without charges by the US, and while the Court of Appeal agrees that his detention is “unlawful” it is at this point content to give up. Reprieve, the British group trying to secure his release, has promised to continue the effort, saying that the British government could face war crimes charges for his rendition to the US, given its inability to convince the US to honor its agreements on detainees.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of