Posts Tagged Maqaleh v. Gates

Bagram Detainees Seek Habeas Rights in DC Federal Court

Thursday, International Justice Network Attorney Tina Monshipour Foster will argue in federal District Court for the rights of 3 men detained by the U.S. in Bagram Afghanistan.  InternationalJusticeNetwork writes:

The case, Maqaleh v. Gates, 604 F.Supp.2d 205, is the first legal challenge in U.S. courts on behalf of prisoners detained at Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan.  The petitioners are two Yemeni citizens and one Tunisian citizen who were all seized outside of Afghanistan from third countries as far away as Thailand.  There is evidence that they were rendered to U.S.-run secret prisons (“black sites”) for torture, prior to ultimately being transferred to Bagram for continued indefinite detention in U.S. Military custody.

The 3 men’s stories are on IJN’s website.

How these cases even came into court is a story of tenacity by Tina Foster and other attorneys.  While working at the Center for Constitutional Rights, and researching the cases of those detained in Guantanamo, Tina said she kept running into families who said their relatives were detained in Bagram.  While Guantanamo detainees eventually represented by US counsel — through much struggle, and with great obstacles — those in Bagram were forgotten.

In fact, it was, and still is, impossible to find out from the U.S. authorities who is detained in Bagram.  It was only through families that the IJN could initiate legal proceedings.

To date, the Obama administration still denies that detainees they hold in Bagram have habeas corpus rights.  That’s what the hearing Thursday is about.

Though President Obama has vowed to close Guantanamo, the Department of Justice has continued to defend the Bush Administration’s position that individuals held at other U.S.-run military facilities have no legal rights. As the organization representing the Bagram detainees, IJNetwork has called on the Obama Administration to end the practices of rendition, torture, and indefinite detention, and provide fundamental human rights to all individuals held in U.S. custody – including Bagram.

I’ll be there, and I hope you join me:

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit333 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20001  Ceremonial Courtroom (Room 20)

January 7, 2010

Hearing begins at 9:30 a.m.  Vigil by the CUNY Law Students for Justice at Bagram begins 8:30am email: bagramjustice@gmail.com

333 Constitution Avenue NW @ 3rd Street NW

There will be a rally/vigil after the hearing.

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