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USA: Guantánamo: Trusting the executive, prolonging the injustice

, Index number: AMR 51/030/2005

This document considers the implications of a decision, made on 19 January 2005, by District Judge for the District of Columbia Richard J. Leon who had considered petitions from seven Guantánamo detainees. He agreed with the government that the detainees have no rights under constitutional law to challenge the lawfulness of their detention. Amnesty International considers that, in reaching his conclusion, Judge Leon placed too much trust in the executive and not enough in the rule of law and fundamental human rights principles. The organization trusts that his colleague, Senior Judge Joyce Hens Green, who is considering petitions for writs of habeas corpus from 54 other Guantánamo detainees, will make a decision based on the principles of international law.

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