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Indybay Feature
Tue Apr 3 2007 (Updated 04/05/07)
US Supreme Court Refuses To Uphold Habeas Corpus
Tue Apr 3 2007 (Updated 04/05/07)
Show Trials and Gag Orders For Gitmo Detainees
On April 2nd, the US Supreme Court refused to grant review to a lower court ruling which upheld the constitutionality of the habeas corpus-stripping provision of the Military Commissions Act passed by the US Congress in 2006. The Act contains provisions removing access to the courts for any foreign national detained by the United States government who is determined to be an "enemy combatant", or who is awaiting determination regarding enemy combatant status. Habeas corpus is stated as a right in in Article One, Section 9 of the US Constitution and allows detainees to seek relief from unlawful imprisonment; it was a right in English Common Law with legal standing as far back as the 1300s

None of the Democratic Contenders Has Called for the Closure of the Guantanamo Prison | US Supreme Court refuses to hear Guantánamo appeals | Short shrift for Guantanamo inmates | Coming Up Short on Habeas Corpus for Gitmo Detainees | House Armed Services Committee Examines Military Commissions Act | Amnesty International: Justice delayed and justice denied at Guantánamo | Amnesty Blasts "Show" Gitmo Trials | Guantánamo terror trials begin in secret | Press barred from Guantánamo hearings | What the NYT doesn’t say about the court ruling on habeas corpus

The Australian David Hicks was the first Guantanamo prisoner to be charged and tried before the newly constituted US military commission. The U.S. government had originally accused Hicks of conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to engage in acts of terrorism, attempted murder and aiding the enemy but only ended up charging him with a single crime -- providing material support for terrorism. Under the terms a plea bargain, Hicks will serve a nine-month jail term in Australia and agrees not to speak to the media for one year or to allege he was mistreated while in detention. The next general election for the Parliament of Australia will take place before Hicks' gag order will end and many see the plea agreement as an effort by the US to help the conservative government of Prime Minister John Howard.

David Hicks Becomes First Guantanamo Prisoner to Plead Guilty | Guantánamo’s kangaroo court convicts Australian David Hicks | Stop the Guantanamo Circus | Hicks 'silenced' before Australian election | Gitmo detainee's plea deal angers some legal experts | David Hicks bullied into guilty plea | A kangaroo tribunal | Gitmo Father Suspects Plea Deal | imc_photo.gifHicks Determined to Fight US military charges

Several higher profile detainees were transfered from more secretive CIA run prisons to Guantanamo in September 2006. Khalid Sheikhyarbouti Mohammed and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri both confessed to a series of "terrorist" attacks, but al-Nashiri admitted that he only confessed to avoid additional torture.

Washington exploits Guantánamo “confession” to justify its crimes | Guantánamo prisoner charges confession extracted through torture | Shock and scepticism greet alleged 9/11 confessions

Guantanamo Bay detainment camp serves as a joint military prison and interrogation camp under the leadership of Joint Task Force Guantanamo (JTF-GTMO) and has occupied a portion of the United States Navy's base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba since 2002. The prison holds people suspected by the executive branch of the U.S. government of being al-Qaeda and Taliban operatives. Most of the detainees still at Guantanamo are not scheduled for trial. As of November 2006, out of 775 detainees who have been brought to Guantanamo, approximately 340 have been released, leaving 435 detainees. Of those 435, 110 have been labeled as ready for release. Of the other 325, only "more than 70" will face trial, the Pentagon says. That leaves about 250 who may be held indefinitely.

Guantanamo conditions 'worsening' | US Sent Guantanamo Detainees Home to Torture in Russia | Briton tells of Guantanamo ordeal | Living With Guantanamo Scars | Al Jazeera detainee at Guantanamo 'force-fed' | CagePrisoners.com

Previous Indybay Guantanamo Coverage: International Protests Against Torture and Detention | SF Protest Against Torture and Indefinite Detention | Supreme Court Rules Against Gitmo Tribunals | Vigilia en Berkeley en Solidaridad con Marcha a Guantánamo | Berkeley Vigil in Solidarity with March to Guantánamo | International Day of Solidarity with Political Prisoners on December 3rd | US Supreme Court Considers Enemy Combatants and Law Free Zones
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