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Lawyers Fight For Detainees

by TChris

Forced by the Supreme Court to respect the rights of Guantanamo detainees, the Bush administration has grudgingly agreed to let 13 lawyers visit their uncharged clients.

Thomas B. Wilner ... who represents the 12 Kuwaitis who won the right to federal court review, said, "I'm pleased that at long last the government is beginning to act reasonably." He added that the government had also agreed to an early visit by a lawyer for the 13th prisoner, an Australian who was involved in successfully challenging the administration's contention that Guantánamo was outside the reach of United States law.

The Center for Constitutional Rights, representing more than fifty Guantanamo detainees, filed habeas petitions on Friday "seeking early hearings on whether eight prisoners at Guantánamo have been lawfully detained." While the administration would prefer to substitute its own "annual review of the detentions" for judicial review, lawyers for the detainees will insist that federal courts do their job by acting as a check against the arbitrary use of power by the executive branch of government.

Jose Padilla's lawyer on Friday filed a new habeas petition in Charleston, S.C., having been told by the Supreme Court that Padilla's original petition was filed in the wrong district.

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