USA: Different label, same policy?: Administration drops ‘enemy combatant’ label in Guantánamo litigation, but retains law of war framework for detentions

A memorandum, filed in US District Court on 13 March 2009, sets out the new administration’s view of its authority to detain those still held at Guantánamo. In an accompanying press release, the Justice Department emphasized that, in the case of these particular detainees, it was dropping the “enemy combatant” label. Amnesty International considers that it is well past time for the US administration and courts to recognize that the Guantánamo detainees should not continue to be held in indefinite detention without charge or trial.

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