WASHINGTON – On Thursday, Muslim Advocates filed an amicus brief urging a federal court to consider the Trump administration’s anti-Muslim animus when it rules on the case of Saifullah Paracha, a 73-year-old man detained in the U.S. Naval base at Guantánamo Bay. Mr. Paracha is the oldest person still imprisoned at Guantánamo and has been detained by the U.S. government for nearly 18 years without ever facing charges and without the government demonstrating he is a threat to anyone. Mr. Paracha, represented by the Office of the Federal Defender of Ohio, filed a petition in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit saying his detention denied him his constitutional right to due process. When that petition was denied, Paracha entered his present appeal.
Muslim Advocates’ amicus brief details the ways in which former President Donald Trump publicly displayed his anti-Muslim animus and how that led him to refuse to release any of the detainees at Guantánamo Bay—including Mr. Paracha. The brief tells the court that if it upholds the district court’s decision, it not only blesses the Trump administration’s bigoted actions but opens the door to such discrimination from future administrations as well.
“Anti-Muslim animus has always been an animating force for Donald Trump—from his Muslim Ban to his numerous attacks on Muslim immigrants and Muslim public officials,” said Matt Callahan, senior staff attorney at Muslim Advocates. “Unless courts hold the government accountable, the kind of open bigotry we saw from the Trump administration will continue to flourish. Everyone deserves fair and impartial justice, including Mr. Paracha.”