June 2, 2009, Washington, DC— The International Justice Network (IJNetwork), the organization representing men detained without charge by the US Government at Bagram Prison in Afghanistan, today expressed disappointment with a court decision Monday to put on hold the cases of three men rendered to Bagram by the US Government seven years ago. A copy of the opinion by Judge John D. Bates of the US District Court for the District of Columbia is attached.
The Obama Administration had argued that Bates' decision of April 2, 2009, which ruled that two Yemeni and one Tunisian man held without charge for at Bagram had the right to have their cases heard in US courts, should be overturned and that the cases be put on hold pending appeal. Though normally appeals are not permitted until the Court has had an opportunity to examine the evidence in the case and make a final determination, Judge Bates yesterday allowed the Obama Administration to immediately appeal the cases to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. His decision also permits the Obama Administration to avoid having to address until after resolution of the appeal the substance of the detainees' claims: that they are innocent civilians who have been illegally held in US custody for seven years without trial.
"At this point, there can be no doubt that despite President Obama's rhetoric regarding the closure of Guantanamo, his administration claims the right to use Bagram to imprison people indefinitely and deny them human rights," said Tina Monshipour Foster, IJNetwork's Executive Director. "It's an outrage that rather than let our clients have their day in court, this administration has chosen instead to defend and perpetuate Bush administration policies."