June 01, 2017

ABA urges U.S. Supreme Court to review habeas request in Gitmo terrorism case

CHICAGO, June 1, 2017 — The American Bar Association filed an amicus brief Wednesday, asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take a case involving habeas review of a detainee who has been held without trial at Guantanamo Bay for more than 15 years.

The ABA brief, filed in support of Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri, asks the high court to examine the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia that rejected his claims that he is entitled to challenge jurisdiction of the military commission responsible for his lengthy confinement. The appeals court supported an earlier finding by a federal district court judge.

Al-Nashiri, a Saudi, has been designated as a “high-value detainee” and is kept in Camp 7, a solitary confinement facility. The ABA brief said he seeks to argue that a federal court should try him rather than the military commission because the crimes of which he is accused — bombing of the USS The Sullivans and of organizing the bombings of the USS Cole and a French oil tanker off the coast of Yemen in 2000 and 2002 — took place before the United States went to war in Iraq.

“The ABA has urged the government to avoid indefinite detention of detainees and to guarantee meaningful judicial review, which encompasses the right of detainees to petition for a writ of habeas corpus and the opportunity for American citizens and residents to challenge their designation as enemy combatants,” the ABA brief said, citing several policies adopted by the ABA House of Delegates since 9/11.

The ABA amicus brief in Abd al Rahim al-Nashiri v Donald J. Trump can be found here.

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