Support the Defense Request for Reconsideration of the Referral of Charges against Guantanamo Detainee Mohammad Jawad to Trial by Military Commission
Mohammad Jawad is one of two juveniles captured in the war in Afghanistan to face charges before military commissions at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Mohammad Jawad is charged with attempted murder stemming from a hand-grenade attack forces in Kabul, Afghanistan on December 17, 2002 in which two U.S. special forces soldiers and their Afghan interpreter were injured. Charges were referred to trial by the Convening Authority (the senior official in the military commissions) in January 2008. Since that time, significant new evidence has come to light casting doubt on Mr. Jawad's involvement in the attack. Additionally, significant evidence has come to light about the torture and abuse Mr. Jawad has suffered during his detention at Bagram Prison and Guantanamo Bay over the last 5 years and 8 months. The charges against Mr. Jawad are unsupported under international law. Charging a child soldier with war crimes is unprecedented in modern history. The military judge has ordered the Convening Authority to reconsider her decision to refer the charges to trial and has afforded the defense an opportunity to submit written matters to the Convening Authority for her consideration. This petition drive and an associated letter-writing campaign are part of the defense efforts to persuade the Convening Authority to drop the charges. Thank you for your support.
1. Significant doubt exists about Mohammad Jawad%u2019s culpability for the grenade attack on U.S. forces on December 17, 2002, in Kabul, Afghanistan;
2. Mohammad Jawad was a juvenile, only 16 or 17 years old, at the time he was taken into U.S. military custody on December 17, 2002;
3. Mohammad Jawad was subjected to extreme and illegal physical and psychological abuse at Bagram Air Base prison from December 18, 2002 to February 6, 2003, including, but not limited to, sleep deprivation, prolonged stress positions, threats, beatings, and being chained to the wall;
4. Mohammad Jawad has been subjected to extreme and illegal physical and psychological abuse at Guantanamo Bay from February 6, 2008, including, but not limited to, sleep deprivation, prolonged isolation, threats, beatings, temperature extremes, sensory deprivation and sensory overload;
5. Mohammad Jawad has been consistently denied the rights accorded to him under the Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict and under the Geneva Prisoner of War Convention and Geneva Convention Common Article 3;
6. Mohammad Jawad%u2019s alleged act of throwing a hand grenade at lawful combatants in an armed conflict does not constitute a violation of the international law of war;
7. Mohammad Jawad has been unlawfully denied any opportunities for rehabilitation and reintegration during his nearly 6 years of captivity;
8. Mohammad Jawad is not affiliated in any way with the Taliban or Al Qaida, and is not alleged to have any involvement in any terrorist attacks and is not charged with any crimes of terrorism;
9. The United States has consistently opposed trying child soldiers as war criminals, and there is no mention in the entire legislative history of the Military Commissions Act by a single member of Congress of 2006 of any intent to try juvenile combatants or child soldiers; no juvenile or child soldier has ever been tried in an international war crimes tribunal for war crimes in modern history;
10. It is our view that the Military Commissions Act of 2006 was intended to provide a vehicle to bring to justice those persons responsible for major terrorist attacks on the United States and its allies, such as the attacks of September 11, 2001, and the bombing of U.S. Embassies in East Africa;
THEREFORE, we concerned citizens implore you to reconsider your earlier decision to refer charges against Mohammad Jawad to trial by military commission and urge you to withdraw and permanently dismiss those charges.
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