April 2, 2009

U.S.-Run Prisons Cannot Be Used As "Other Gitmos," Says ACLU

CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org

NEW YORK – A federal judge ruled today that three prisoners who are being held by the United States at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan can challenge their detention in U.S. courts. The prisoners, who were captured outside of Afghanistan and are not Afghan citizens, have been held at Bagram for more than six years without charge or access to counsel. The ruling came from Judge John D. Bates of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The following can be attributed to Jonathan Hafetz, staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union National Security Project:

"Today's decision is yet another rebuke to the government's claim that it is free to establish law-free zones. As the district court rightly concluded, the United States cannot escape the core protections or restraints of the Constitution by imprisoning people at Bagram rather than Guantánamo. Only a complete restoration of the rule of law at all U.S.-run prisons can achieve a return to justice and American values."

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