By Nedra Pickler

June 29, 2009

WASHINGTON – A federal judge who issued a groundbreaking order allowing military detainees in Afghanistan to go to U.S. civilian courts to challenge their confinement said Monday that the right doesn't apply to an Afghan prisoner.

U.S. District Judge John Bates' ruling means the United States can continue to detain Haji Wazir indefinitely at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan. Court documents say he has been in U.S. custody since he was captured in the United Arab Emirates in 2002.

In April, Bates had allowed three foreign detainees at Bagram who had been captured outside the country to challenge their detention in his court to prevent the U.S. from being able to "move detainees physically beyond the reach of the Constitution and detain them indefinitely." The government has appealed the Bates' decision.

It was the first time a judge had extended rights given to terrorism suspects held at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to detainees held elsewhere in the world.


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