Rights groups lauded a U.S. Supreme Court ruling Thursday that reinstated the principle of habeas corpus for detainees at the prison for terrorism suspects in the Guantanamo Bay U.S. naval base in Cuba.
The latest in a series of setbacks to Pres. George W. Bush administration's policies on terrorism suspects asserted that prisoners at Guantanamo can challenge the legality of their detention in U.S. courts.
"Today's decision forcefully repudiates the essential lawlessness of the Bush administration's failed Guantanamo policy," said Steven R. Shapiro, the legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union.
The decision, delivered in the case Boumediene v. Bush, ruled that the mechanism that designates suspects as "enemy combatants" -- a status used to indefinitely imprison them as potential threats -- did not meet a sufficient standard to deprive them of habeas corpus…
"Today's landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision has rightly reaffirmed the age-old fundamental right for those detained to receive a fair and neutral hearing and to learn the specific reason for their detention -- and challenge it," said Larry Cox, Amnesty International USA's executive director. . .
A Muslim civil liberties group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), also celebrated the ruling.
"The repeated lack of appropriate legislative process and administrative double dealing has proven to be damaging to our nation," said CAIR national director Tahra Goraya. "The prison facility at Guantanamo Bay is a legal and public relations embarrassment for our country and should be promptly closed." (MORE)