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By: Anna Capili
A lawsuit was filed by a human-rights lawyers' group seeking to release the more than 500 unnamed terror suspects held captive by the U.S. Government in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

February 16, 2005- A lawsuit was filed by a human-rights lawyers' group seeking to release the more than 500 unnamed terror suspects held captive by the U.S. Government in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The suit filed for the release of the detainees on the premise that they are being "improperly held". The filed case by the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights joins the list of more than 70 cases already pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The others were filed by family members of other detainees.

In a one-page order, a U.S. District judge granted lawyers permission to file the suit, citing that the petition is allowed to proceed under the fictitious names of "John Does".

According to the legal director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, foreigners from 40 different countries have been held in Cuba without being charged with any crime. Some were even detained for more than three years. They were mainly swept up in the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan.

"The vast majority of the detainees of Guantanamo have not been able to communicate with loved ones who have the ability to contact lawyers in the U.S.," said the legal counsel.

On the other hand, the government states that the detainees were "dangerous enemy combatants" who are not entitled to the same constitutional protections as Americans because they are foreigners.

Just recently, two district court judges have issued different rulings regarding the rights of detainees to challenge their detention in federal court. The rulings however were conflicting on the legal basis for the detainees' rights. The issue is being appealed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

The legal director from the Center said this regarding the suit for the detainees, "For all those who remain unrepresented, today's lawsuit is a giant step forward."


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