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Bagram Detainees Can Challenge Detention in U.S. Courts

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April 2, 2009

In a landmark decision today, a federal judge ruled today that three prisoners who are being held by the U.S. 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.

In a statement we issued today, ACLU staff attorney Jonathan Hafetz said:

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.