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Court Closes Avenue For Guantánamo Detainees To Challenge Their Detention

NEW YORK - A
panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today closed an
avenue for Guantánamo Bay detainees to challenge their detention,
shutting down approximately 175 pending cases in that court. The court
struck down a provision of the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 that
allowed detainees to challenge their status as “enemy combatants” as
determined by the Pentagon’s Combatant Status Review Tribunals, a
status that allows for their indefinite detention at Guantánamo.
 
The only avenue left for detainees
to challenge their detention is to file habeas corpus challenges in
district courts, a fundamental constitutional right upheld by the
Supreme Court last June in Boumediene v. Bush. While the habeas option is absolutely critical, the Supreme Court said in Boumediene that it was also not the sole avenue for redress.

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

"After three years of government
stonewalling, the appeals court has unfortunately just taken away one
of the avenues for the Guantánamo detainees to finally get a shot at
justice in America."

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