Bagram AFB Detainees Can Sue In US Courts
The Obama administration retained the Bush theory that detainees could not sue in federal US courts, but that was overruled today by Judge John Bates who said three of the four men who brought the suit could continue to pursue their release.
“Bagram detainees who are not Afghan citizens, who were not captured in Afghanistan and who have been held for an unreasonable amount of time — here over six years — without adequate process” have the legal right to sue in U.S. court, the judge ruled in a 53-page opinion
Bates cited the 2008 Supreme Court decision that Guantanamo Bay prisoners have the right to habeas corpus.
The constitutional right of habeas corpus was “forged to guard against” executive abuses like the “arbitrary exercise of the government’s power to detain,” wrote Judge Bates, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush.
The fourth detainee is an Afghan citizen and Bates did not rule on his case pending further review. The detainees were held at the US Air Force base at Bagram in Afghanistan, but could have implications for the Gitmo detainees.
[Attorney for the detainees Tina] Foster, who praised Judge Bates’ decision as “a very good day for the Constitution and the rule of law,” said that the Bagram ruling means that the changes to the Bush administration’s detention policies must go beyond merely closing Guantanamo. The decision, she said, means that habeas corpus “extends beyond Guantanamo to any place where the United States seeks to hold individuals in a legal black hole.”Click here for reuse options!
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