Federal Practice Group Attorney Eric Montalvo recently spoke to Law360 about the ongoing case of his client Mohammed Jawad and his lawsuit against the U.S. government for his treatment in Guantanamo Bay. Last month, the U.S. Department of Justice urged the D.C. Circuit Court not to revive and consider the suit.
Mohammed Jawad was arrested in 2002 by Afghani forces for his apparent role in a grenade attack that seriously injured two U.S. soldiers and a translator. He was then transferred to U.S. forces and detained in Guantanamo Bay as an "enemy combatant." Even though he was approximately 13 years old, he was kept with the adult population of the prison.
Jawad was charged with three counts of attempted murder, but was able habeas corpus petition in 2005. It wasn't granted until 2009, when Jawad was no longer considered "legally detainable" by the government. Now he has filed suit against the government for the detainment and his treatment in the prison.
Attorney Montalvo has represented Jawad throughout much of this ordeal and he does not believe the U.S. government has the legal or moral grounds to suppress the lawsuit. A lower court has already found that the Military Commissions Act specifically prohibits non-habeas suits against the government by detainees. Attorney Montalvo also believes the MCA does not account for a detainee's age. When you factor in Jawad’s age at the time the event transpired and the dubious details in his case the only logical conclusion would be for his case to be heard – regardless of any MCA bar. "Even if that is the law," Attorney Montalvo told Law360, "it's wrong."