March 26, 2015, New York, NY. On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the judgments of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit against Redha al-Najar and Amanatullah Ali, two Bagram detainees who sought to challenge their arbitrary detention by the U.S. Government. This marks the end of a nearly decade-long legal battle waged by the International Justice Network (IJN) in U.S. courts seeking justice for Bagram detainees.
In 2006, IJN filed the first legal cases on behalf of individuals who were detained by the U.S. Military at Bagram prison in Afghanistan without charge, trial, access to legal counsel, or any meaningful opportunity to challenge their imprisonment. After the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that the detainees had a constitutional right to file habeas corpus petitions in U.S. courts, the U.S. Government appealed. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit reversed the decision, ruling that U.S. courts lacked jurisdiction to hear habeas cases filed by detainees at Bagram. In August 2014, IJN and co-counsel filed petitions for writs of certiorari on behalf of Mr. al-Najar, Mr. Ali, and the several other detainees. While the U.S. Supreme Court was deciding whether to hear the cases, the U.S. Government transferred them out of U.S. military custody at Bagram. Because this unilateral decision prevented the men from obtaining a legal ruling from the highest court in the country, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the D.C. Circuit’s prior rulings against Mr. al-Najar and Mr. Ali.
While Mr. Ali was repatriated to Pakistan after nearly a decade of imprisonment without charge at Bagram, Mr. al-Najar continues to be denied due process based on the actions of the U.S. Government. After 12 years of imprisonment without charge – and on the same day the U.S. Senate released a report confirming that Mr. al-Najar was tortured for nearly 700 days at CIA black sites – the U.S. Military transferred him to the custody and control of the Afghan Government. Mr. al-Najar has now been detained by the Afghan Government for over three months, and has still not been charged with any crime. IJN continues to call on the Afghan authorities to end Mr. al-Najar’s prolonged arbitrary detention without charge and release him to freedom.
March 17, 2015, New York, NY.
Caitlin Steinke, Staff Attorney with the International Justice Network ("IJN"), speaks with HuffPost Live about the fate of IJN client Redha al-Najar, who was tortured by the CIA for nearly 700 days, detained without charge at Bagram prison for 12 years, and then transferred to Afghan custody, where he continues to be held without charge.
March 6, 2015, New York, NY. IJN is deeply saddened to learn that unknown assailants detonated a bomb outside the Kabul office of the Afghanistan Human Rights Organization (“AHRO”) yesterday. AHRO is a groundbreaking organization doing courageous work in the face of consistent danger and intimidation, and serves as a prominent and public voice for human rights in Afghanistan. Despite this attack, the organization remains committed to maintaining its active presence in the Afghan media. “AHRO is resolute to continue its struggle for the promotion and protection of the human rights of Afghans and not to bow to such timid efforts,” says Lal Gul, Executive Director of AHRO. IJN has worked closely with AHRO for the past 10 years in representing victims of human rights abuses and their families, and stands in solidarity with AHRO in the face of this vicious attack.
IJN Signs Onto Letter Urging Congress to Ensure That Use of Force Against ISIL is Not Authorized by Legislation Passed in 2001 and 2002
New York, NY - On February 24, 2015, the International Justice Network (IJN) joined a coalition of leading civil rights, civil liberties, and human rights organizations in sending a letter to Congress.
The February 24 letter urges Congress to ensure that any new legislation authorizing the use of force against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) directly addresses the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) and the 2002 Iraq AUMF. The letter recommends that any new legislation that does not repeal the prior AUMFs should state explicitly that neither of those laws authorizes the use of force against ISIL. The letter asserts that if Congress fails to address the prior AUMFs in any new ISIL-focused legislation, the 2001 and 2002 laws could be used to try and circumvent Congress' will.