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There are many timelines available relating to Guantanamo Bay, to the cases of Rasul and Hamdan and even some relating to David. The one below particularly highlights the incidents most relevant to the injustices particular to David.

Laa Tansa (Never Forget) has an excellent timeline that can be accessed here

11 September 2001

Terrorists attack USA

13 November 2001

President Bush issues his military order; ‘detention, treatment and trial of certain non-citizens in the war against terrorism’. The US Constitution defines the President as Commander in Chief of the Military.

December 2001

David sold to Northern Alliance for approximately $5000
Taken aboard US Navy vessel USS Peleliu- naked photos taken
Taken offshore to unknown locations and beaten.
Taken aboard US navy vessel, USS Bataan
Processed at Kandahar Prison, Afghanistan – sexual humiliation. Photos taken on arrival.

January 2002

US Prison in Afghanistan; Bagram opens.

11 January 2002

First group of 20 detainees arrive at Guantanamo Bay’s Camp X-Ray, housed in open-air cages with concrete floors.

January 2002

President Bush decides that ‘detainees’ are disqualified from prisoner-of-war protection under the Geneva conventions.

20 January 2002

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) makes its first visit to Guantanamo Bay.

19 February 2002

Center for Constitutional Rights files Rasul v. Bush, a habeas petition, in the D.C. circuit court on behalf of David Hicks, Shafiq Rasul and Asif Iqbal challenging their continued detention.

21 March 2002

Military Commissions Order set up by President Bush.

28 April 2002

All detainees are moved from Camp X-Ray to Camp Delta. New camp made from shipping containers; X-Ray was made from cages.

July 2002

District court in case of Rasul v Bush rules that it has no jurisdiction to hear matters relating to detention in Guantanamo. Appeal lodged.

August 2002

Infamous “Torture Memos” written by Yoo working as legal counsel in the Department of Justice. Shows the legal premise was that in times of war the President’s powers override the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment.

20 July 2003

Terry Hicks commences protest inside a cage on Wall St, New York.

11 March 2003

Federal appeals court rules that the detainees have no legal rights in the United States, upholding District finding in Rasul. Read the Ruling.

20 March 2003

Iraq war commences.

September 2003

Public is made aware that two translators and a chaplain who worked at Guantanamo Bay were accused and detained for alleged espionage and improper use of classified documents.

9 October 2003

ICRC issues a statement noting ‘deterioration in the psychological health of a large number of Guantanamo detainees.’

25 November 2003

Australian Government announces that Australian citizens can undergo Military Commissions.

3 December 2003

David Hicks becomes the first person in Guantanamo to be allocated a lawyer after 2 years.

January 2004

US Major General Anthony Taguba asked to prepare report into alleged prisoner abuses at Abu Ghraib.

March 2004

Abu Ghraib torture and degrading treatment images are made public.

9 March 2004

Rasul and Iqbal – with whom David’s habeas case was lodged, were released without charge back to the United Kingdom. Three other British nationals were also released this month.

10 June 2004

First charges- David charged with ‘conspiracy’, attempted murder’, and ‘aiding the enemy’.

28 June 2004

Supreme Court rules 6-3 in Rasul v. Bush that Guantanamo Bay detainees can use federal court to challenge their captivity.

7 July 2004

Combatant Status Review Tribunals [CSRTs] set up by Bush Administration. Their purpose was to determine if a detainee had been correctly identified as an “enemy combatant”.

30 August 2004

Centre for Consitutional Rights attorney is the first civilian attorney to meet with detainees at Guantanamo.


US Court finds that detainees are protected under the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution (due process requirement) and rules CSRTs unconstitutional.

September 2004

Administrative Review Board established to look annually at an individual’s ongoing detention.

October 2004

David moved from Camp Echo to Delta Block.

November 2004

Hicks pre-trial commences. In the case of Hamdan v Rumsfeld US District Court rules that in order to undergo a military commission, a person must be a Prisoner of War. This put a stay on any further military commissions proceedings for the time being.

27 January 2005

Mamdouh Habib returned to Australia, no charges laid.

15 July 2005

Hamdan decision in US District Court that Military Commissions can proceed.

1 August 2005

Former prosecutors leak a series of emails alleging the rigging of the Military Commissions process.

14 November 2005

Hicks’ Military Commission proceeding is to be the first to recommence. District Court blocks this until the Supreme Court rules on its consitutionality in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld.

30 December 2005

Detainee treatment Act passed. This excludes US Federal courts from hearing habeas cases of Guantanamo detainees.

December 2005

British court rules that David can be granted UK citizenship.


C.I.A. director Michael Hayden reveals that two tapes depicting interrogations were destroyed. He says they could have exposed interrogators or their families to “retaliation from al-Qaida and its sympathizers. Read More.

15 February 2006

UN Recommends Closure of Guantanamo. Read the UN Report.

28 May 2006

Department of Defense says 75 detainees are on a hunger strike and that some have refused food and been force-fed since August 2005

29 June 2006

The charges against David are dissolved with the Supreme Court ruling in Hamdan V Bush. Supreme Court rules that the military commission system for Guantanamo Bay violates U.S. and international law, and that the Geneva Convention applies.

6 July 2006

David granted UK citizenship. This was revoked the next day.

September 2006

Military Commission Act of 2006 passes Congress. Read an Analysis on this.

February 2007

Dick Cheney visits Australia and does a ‘deal’ with the PM John Howard in relation to David Hicks, unbenown to David’s lawyers.

2 February 2007

New charges laid against David; “providing material support for terrorism” and “attempted murder”.

26 March 2007

David uses the ‘Alford’ plea for the charge of ‘material support for terrorism”. Sentenced to 7 years (6rs 3mths suspended) – to be served at Yatala Prison, South Australia. One year gag order placed on David and prohibited any person speaking publicly on his behalf.

19 May 2007

David transferred to Australia.

30 December 2007

David released from Yatala on Control Order.

6 August 2008

A military jury finds Hamdan guilty of supporting terrorism but not of conspiring in terrorist attacks.

27 December 2008

Salim Hamdan is freed in Yemen.

30 December 2008

The Control Order on David ceases.

22 January 2009

President Obama issues three executive orders; one ordering the closure of the prison at Guantanamo Bay in one year, another banning the use of controversial CIA interrogation techniques, and one ordering the review of detention policy options. Military Commissions are halted pending a review of the system.

13 March 2009

In a lawsuit claiming remedy for their unlawful treatment by the United States brought by four UK nationals previously held at Guantanamo, the new administration argued in court documents that the case should be dismissed and sought a blanket ban on such lawsuits.

April 2009

Senate Armed Services Committee releases damning declassified report (written 2008) into treatment and interrogation policies.

15 May 2009

Military Commissions Act of 2009 passes, some reform but still criticised by human rights law experts. Read the Whitehouse Statement, and click here for further information.

July 2009

‘Material Support for Terrorism’ charge debated. Acting US Attorney General testified that the Justice Department had concluded material support for terrorism to be a crime in civilian federal court, but that it was not defined as a violation of the laws of war until Congress passed the Military Commission Act in 2006.

August 2009

CIA releases Inspector General Report (2004). The report outlines that detainees were shackled and racked whilst naked and threatened with power drills and more. Click here for further information.

4 October 2009

Centre for Constitutional Rights files papers in D.C. District Court challenging the 2006 MCA which states that a federal court cannot hear cases involving “any aspect of … detention, transfer, treatment, or conditions of confinement,” in Guantanamo.

10 October 2009

Amendments to the Military Commissions Act were passed under the annual budget mechanism of the National Defense Authorization Act. Despite some significant changes, Guantanamo military commissions was still found to fall far short of the requirements imposed by the U.S Constitution and Geneva Conventions. The 2009 Act continues to apply the military commissions to a much broader group of individuals than should be tried before them under the United States’ legal obligations, it does not completely bar all coerced testimony as required by the Constitution and does not prohibit children from undergoing a military commission trial. The improvements include the requirement of experienced capital defence attorneys in death penalty cases, more resources for defence counsel, significant new limitations on the use of hearsay and coerced testimony and greater access to witnesses and evidence for defendants.

16 October 2010

David’s book Guantanamo: My Journey was released.

July 2012

Proceeds of crime was dropped by Australian Government. David free to keep profits from book and this is a further step in clearing of him name.

September 2012

Several articles written that unveil the medical experimentation that David was subjected to.

October 2012

Hamdan wins his appeal against his Military Commissions conviction in the United States. The US appeals court rules Hamdan’s charge of “Material Support for Terrorism” as invalid due to the charge being applied retrospectively, and the fact that it is not recognised internationally. This charge was created in 2006 and applied to both Hamdan and David retrospectively. David will now move to appeal his conviction in the US courts.

26 March 2014

David’s suspended sentence will end.