For Immediate Release
Guantanamo Detainees Demand Same Rights as Hobby Lobby
WASHINGTON - A US cout will today weigh arguments from lawyers for two Guantanamo Bay detainees that their clients should be considered ‘persons’ under the law and afforded the same religious freedoms as company Hobby Lobby, and claims from the US Government that they should not.
At 10:00 AM EST in Courtroom 26A before Judge Gladys Kessler, lawyers from international human rights NGO Reprieve and co-counsel Lewis Baach and Jon B. Eisenberg will represent Guantanamo prisoners Ahmad Rabbani of Pakistan and Emad Hassan from Yemen. They are asking the court to count the men as ‘persons’ with religious free exercise rights, in the wake of a new Supreme Court decision extending those rights to US craft store chain Hobby Lobby.
Both men have been detained at the prison without charge or trial since 2002. They are asking the court to intervene after the prison's military authorities prevented them from praying communally during Ramadan, a holy month for Muslims.
Last night lawyers for the men responded to the government’s opposition brief arguing that the men should not be considered ‘persons’, which can be read in full here.
Reprieve is a UK-based human rights organization that uses the law to enforce the human rights of prisoners, from death row to Guantánamo Bay.