Judge Requires U.S. to Give ACLU Notice of Any Transfer of Detained American to Allow a Challenge

72-Hour Notice Would Allow ACLU to Challenge Transfer

January 23, 2018 2:00 pm

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WASHINGTON — A federal judge has ruled that the U.S. must give the American Civil Liberties Union 72 hours’ notice before transferring an American detained abroad to another country’s government to allow for a legal challenge to the transfer before it happens.

The U.S. military has been holding the U.S. citizen in Iraq without charges for more than four months. In late December, the judge barred the man’s transfer until ACLU lawyers were able to speak with him to determine whether he wanted to pursue the habeas corpus petition that they had filed on his behalf while he was held incommunicado.

Following a video conversation on January 3 in which the citizen stated his desire to have the ACLU represent him, the ACLU asked the court to extend the bar on a transfer until the case is decided. At a court hearing on Monday, the ACLU said that a 72-hour notice requirement would safeguard the citizen’s right to challenge any transfer before it occurred. The government opposed any restrictions on its ability to transfer the man.

“The U.S. can’t lawlessly hand over Americans to other countries. This ruling helps to ensure that this citizen’s rights are respected and that he will receive due process in an American court,” said ACLU attorney Jonathan Hafetz.

The Trump administration has been detaining the citizen since mid-September as an “enemy combatant” for allegedly fighting for ISIS.

Today’s ruling is here:

All documents filed in the case are here:

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