Mohammed JawadNationality: Afghan
Mohammed Jawad, a 23-year-old Afghan, has been in US custody since he was 17. He is charged with attempted murder in violation of the laws of war and intentionally causing serious bodily injury. The US government alleges that while in Afghanistan in 2002 he threw a grenade at a military vehicle, injuring two US soldiers and their interpreter. Both the prosecution and defense in his case allege that Jawad was likely drugged at the time of the alleged offense.
Like the case of Omar Khadr, the US has ignored Jawad’s juvenile status at the time of his alleged offense. Whereas other children detained at Guantanamo were given special housing and education programs, and were eventually released to rehabilitation programs in Afghanistan, Jawad has been housed with adults, not provided any rehabilitation assistance, and was held for over six years prior to being charged, contrary to international standards on the treatment of children in detention.
Jawad has told a panel of US military officers that he falsely confessed after being beaten and tortured by Afghan police when first taken into custody in 2002.
In September 2008, the lead prosecutor in the case against Jawad, Lt. Col. Darrel Vandeveld, resigned, stating that the US government failed to honor its obligations in treatment of child soldiers, and that he had “ethical qualms” about the government’s failure to turn over potentially exculpatory evidence.
Human Rights Watch Commentary:
- Stacy Sullivan commentary, “Confessions of a former Guantánamo prosecutor,” salon.com, October 23, 2008
- Jo Becker commentary, “The war on teen terror,” salon.com, June 24, 2008
- Human Rights Watch report section, “Locked Up Alone: Detention Conditions and Mental Health at Guantanamo,” June 2008
- Human Rights Watch press release, “US: Improve Treatment of Children in Armed Conflict,” June 6, 2008
- Stacy Sullivan commentary, “The forgotten kid of Guantánamo,” salon.com, May 27, 2008
- Aisling Reidy commentary, “Watching Jawad,” March 12, 2008
- Human Rights Watch press release, “US: Move New Guantanamo Cases to Federal Courts,” March 10, 2008
Military Commissions Documents: