New Report on Detainees
The Court this week heard arguments concerning the long-term detention of foreign prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. Next week, the Court will hear the cases of two American citizens: Yasir Esam Hamdi, held for two years, and Jose Padilla, held for 22 months. Both were only recently given brief access to legal counsel, although the Administration continues to argue they have no right to a lawyer. In the Hamdi, Padilla and Guantanamo, cases the Bush Administration continues to maintain that it has the right to indefinitely detain suspects without judicial oversight.
“Not since the internment of Japanese American citizens during World War II have we seen such a far-reaching assertion of Presidential power. It chills me to the bone that any American citizen, regardless of guilt or innocence, can be held for so long with no access to justice,” said Ralph G. Neas, President of People For the American Way Foundation. “As the war in Iraq and terrorist threats to the United States continue, the Court must assert its vital role as the guardian of our most basic freedoms, and a check on untrammeled power.”
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