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12 June 2008

USA: Amnesty International welcomes US Supreme Court decision

Reacting to today's US Supreme Court ruling recognizing the right of foreign nationals detained in Guantánamo Bay to challenge their detention in US civilian courts, Amnesty International said the decision was an "essential step forward towards the restoration of the rule of law."

"This is the third time since 2004 that the US's highest court has rejected arguments advanced by the Bush administration that it can indefinitely detain people without charge or trial, with no meaningful access to justice," said Amnesty International.

The organization expressed concern that the US Government has in the past sought to circumvent rulings of the Supreme Court dealing with their detention policies and practices, notoriously introducing the Military Commissions Act after the court ruled against it in Hamdan v Rumsfeld.

"Justice is long overdue for the some 280 detainees, many of whom have been detained for more than six years without access to any court,” said Amnesty International.

“The time has come for the US government to finally bring its detention policies and practices in the 'war on terror' in line with international standards. It must stop all interference with the access of detainees to civilian courts. It should close Guantánamo promptly, abandon the fundamentally unfair military commission proceedings and either release or charge and try detainees held there in US federal courts. 
AI Index: PRE01/160/2008
Region Americas
Country USA
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