FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mahdis Keshavarz, The Make Agency,
New York, NY, October 19, 2012 -- Despite an earlier ruling in favor of three detainees held at Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan , U.S. District Judge John Bates today dismissed the detainees’ petitions -- in which they sought the right to challenge their unlawful detentions in American courts. The International Justice Network (IJN) and co-counsel who represent the men in the case, Maqaleh v. Obama, vow to appeal once again to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
In a 2009 decision, Judge Bates had previously ruled that the same three detainees -- Fadi al-Maqaleh and Amin al-Bakri (from Yemen) and Reda al-Najar (from Tunisia) -- each of whom have been imprisoned without charge for nearly a decade at Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan, have the right to challenge their unlawful confinement in U.S. courts. However, the government appealed Judge Bates’s original ruling, and his opinion was then overturned by the Court of Appeals in 2010.
The detainees then filed Amended Petitions before Judge Bates, arguing that the Court of Appeals had not considered additional evidence which favored the detainees -- including the fact that the detainees had been brought to Afghanistan in order to avoid the jurisdiction of U.S. Courts. In response to the government’s request to dismiss the cases, Judge Bates today ruled that the new evidence presented by the detainees in their Amended Petitions was not enough to overcome the Court of Appeals’ prior reasoning that U.S. courts did not have jurisdiction over the cases.
"It’s clear that Judge Bates felt constrained by the Court of Appeals’ decision in favor of the government,” stated IJN Executive Director, Tina Foster, “so we will now have to take the issue up directly with the Court of Appeals a second time.” Foster added, “in the meantime, we hope that the government will finally decide to do the right thing and release these men - who’ve now been detained for nearly a decade without charge, have been tortured, and continue to languish at Bagram without hope of ever receiving a day in court.”