by Suzanne Ito
hat tip: ACLU Blog
Mar 2nd, 2010
On Friday, we filed a habeas corpus lawsuit on behalf of four Bagram detainees. The lawsuit requests that the four men be granted access to lawyers and be allowed to challenge the legality of their detention in court. The petition alleges they have never engaged in hostilities against the U.S., have never been a part of any group hostile to the U.S. and have never even been told why they’re being detained or had access to a lawyer.
We have two sets of clients. The first set is brothers Samiullah and Sibghatullah Jalatzai. Sibghatullah served as a translator for the U.S. military for four years before his capture nearly 20 months ago. Samiullah was arrested without explanation at his workplace nearly 23 months ago. The second set is Haji Abdul Wahid, an Afghan government employee, and Zia-ur-Rahman, his nephew. Both were taken from their homes by the U.S. military during a massive neighborhood sweep more than a year ago.
We’re afraid to say it, but it’s looking like Bagram is the new Gitmo. Bagram detainees lack access to courts or any meaningful process to challenge their detention. If that sounds familiar, it’s because it was the same at Guantánamo until the Supreme Court decided, in Boumediene v. Bush, that detainees are entitled to challenge their detention through habeas corpus.