Landmark decision means judges at Gitmo’s war court are not obliged to consider rights of detainees or their cases through lens of US Constitution.
A federal appeals court in Washington DC recently ruled that Guantanamo Bay prisoners are not entitled to due process – a landmark decision that may have an overarching effect on the prison camp’s war court trials, and one that defence lawyers may try to challenge.
A three-judge appeals panel for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled unanimously last week to uphold the indefinite detention of Abdulsalam al-Hela, a 52-year-old Yemeni citizen who was held at a CIA black site for more than a year-and-a-half before being transferred to Guantanamo in 2004, where he has been detained without charge or trial ever since.
“It’s significant because an appeals court – a federal appeals court – held for the first time categorically that the due process clause does not extend to detainees in Guantanamo. They just shut it down,” David Remes, one of Hela’s defence lawyers in the case, told Middle East Eye.