Freed Gitmo Detainee to Sue U.S. Government

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An Afghan man held at Guantanamo Bay for more than six years is planning to sue the U.S. government for his illegal detention.

Mohammed Jawad was recently released after a military court dismissed the case against him.

Some 72 hours after landing back on home soil, Jawad announced through his lawyer that he plans to seek compensation for the years he spent in jail.

"When I encountered this particular case and dealt with the resistance of the U.S. government to recognize the error of their ways it was deeply upsetting," he said.

Jawad was 12-years-old when he was arrested in Kabul in 2002 for allegedly throwing a grenade at American forces.

A month later, he landed at the U.S detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

For six-and-a-half years Jawad, believed to be one the youngest people ever held at the facility, maintained he was innocent of the charges.

"We got together and started working on this case and we quickly realized that the evidence that the government had was insufficient," said Jawad's lawyer, Eric Montalvo.

It was evidence that a federal judge said was obtained through coercion. 

"The rule of law is what makes, I believe, the American legal system one of the best in the world," Montalvo added.

Jawad had initially denied throwing the grenade, but changed his story after Afghan authorities threatened to kill him and his family.

Last month, the judge ordered his release and he was flown back to his home in Afghanistan earlier this week.

"I believe this case has precedent in that the Obama administration has recognized that there are errors," Montalvo said.  "There are problems and they have decided to correct one of these problems."

Jawad's lawyer alleges that his client was tortured and beaten and will be suing for compensation in U.S. courts.

*Originally published August 27, 2009

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