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US court: review process of indefinite detention of enemy combatants unconstitutional

A US Court held that the “Combatant Status Review Tribunals”, set up by Military Order to determine whether a detainee can be held in detention indefinitely as “enemy combatant”, violate due process rights under the US Constitution. The Court held that the Tribunals deprive detainees of sufficient notice and basis to challenge the detention by relying on classified information, the inability to review that information, the prohibition of assistance by counsel and the reliance of statements possibly obtained through torture. The Court also considered that the absence of a competent tribunal determining the prisoner of war status of some of the claimants contravenes the Geneva Convention. Earlier a judge of the same Court ruled that foreign nationals captured and detained outside the US had no constitutional rights and dismissed similar motions. The legal battle over administrative detention is now expected to move to the DC Court of Appeals.

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