Rights group presses for prompt Guantanamo habeas hearings

[JURIST] The US has been slow to conduct habeas corpus hearings [JURIST news archive] for Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] detainees despite a June 2008 US Supreme Court ruling in Boumediene v. Bush [opinion, PDF; JURIST report] mandating prompt hearings, Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] said in a Thursday report [text, PDF; press release]. The group said that since the ruling, only 12 detainees have received the hearings, and that only one detainee has actually been released since President Barack Obama's January order to close the facility [text, JURIST report] within one year. The group also said that the country has too narrowly construed the court's invalidation of section 7 of the Military Commissions Act [text, PDF] by only allowing detainees to challenge their unlawful detentions and not pursue allegations of unfair treatment, harsh conditions, or secret transfers. The group called for the release of those detainees not facing criminal charges:

Amnesty International considers it unacceptable that any Guantanamo detainee continues to be held without criminal charge followed without further undue delay by a fair trial. It therefore continues to call on the administration to immediately release any detainee not charged with a recognizable criminal offence for trial under fair procedures in existing District Courts.

Amnesty International reiterates that the USA should offer release into the USA to detainees who are not charged, cannot be returned to their country of origin, and for whom there is no immediate, safe, lawful and appropriate third country solution, in order to bring their unlawful detention to an end.
On Tuesday, a federal court of appeals held [JURIST report] that US courts cannot prevent the government from transferring Guantanamo detainees to other countries on the grounds that they might face prosecution or torture in those countries. On Monday, 17 Uighur detainees [JURIST news archive] filed a petition for certiorari [JURIST report] with the US Supreme Court, asking the Court to grant their release. The Department of Justice has declined to repatriate the Uighurs despite Chinese demands [JURIST report] because they could face torture upon their return. In March, US Attorney General Eric Holder [official website] and other top officials from the Obama administration met with leaders [JURIST report] from the European Union (EU) [official website] to discuss plans to transfer detainees from Guantanamo Bay.

 

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