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And, yes, I DO take it personally: Yee-Ha...! Some prisoners at Bagram will come under U.S. court jurisdiction
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Thursday, April 02, 2009

Yee-Ha...! Some prisoners at Bagram will come under U.S. court jurisdiction


this is good news and long, long overdue... (btw, as i type this, i am sitting at my desk in kabul, approximately 60km south of bagram...)
A federal judge ruled on Thursday that prisoners in the war on terror can use U.S. civilian courts to challenge their detention at a military air base in Afghanistan.

U.S. District Judge John Bates turned down the United States' motion to deny the right to three foreign detainees at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have the right to challenge their detention in court. But the government had argued that it did not apply to those in Afghanistan.

Bates said the cases were essentially the same and he quoted the Supreme Court ruling repeatedly in his judgment and applied the test created by it to each detainee. It is the first time a federal judge has applied the ruling to detainees in Afghanistan.

Bates considered the requests of four detainees asking to be released, but he reserved judgment on one detainee, Haji Wazir, because he is an Afghan citizen and releasing him could create "practical obstacles in the form of friction with the host country." He ordered Wazir and the government to file memos addressing those issues.

The other three detainees are from outside Afghanistan -- Fadi al Maqaleh of Yemen, Amin al Bakri of Yemen and Redha al-Najar of Tunisia.

All four of the detainees in this case were captured outside Afghanistan but have been held at the airfield for six years or more. Bates wrote that the determination to hold them as enemy combatants is part of a process even more inadequate at Bagram than it is at Guantanamo.

the detention center at bagram, mostly due to distance, has been much less in the public eye than guantánamo although, as the last line in the snippet above states, the process at bagram is "even more inadequate" than at guantánamo... all of these extra-legal hell-holes need to come under the careful eye of the u.s. justice system and it's about time it's happening...

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