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Commentary :: Human Rights
BTL:Judge Rules U.S.-Held Prisoners in Afghanistan Can Challenge Their Detention
10 Apr 2009
BETWEEN THE LINES Syndicated Radio Newsmagazine
Judge Rules U.S.-Held Prisoners in Afghanistan Can Challenge Their Detention

Interview with Tina Foster, executive director of the International Justice Network, conducted by Scott Harris

On April 2, U.S. federal judge John D. Bates for the District of Columbia, issued a ruling which allows detainees held indefinitely without charge by the U.S. military in Afghanistan be entitled to challenge their detention in U.S. Courts. This same right accorded by the U.S. Supreme Court to detainees held at the U.S. Guantanamo Naval base. The case involves three men captured outside Afghanistan who have been imprisoned at the U.S. Bagram air base in Afghanistan without charge or trial for six years.

Although President Obama has ordered the closure of the Guantanamo detention camp, his administration has taken the contradictory position that the Bagram airbase and its detainees should remain beyond the reach of U.S. courts.

Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Tina Foster, founder and executive director of the International Justice Network, who serves as the lead counsel in several of the Bagram detainee cases. She discusses how this case affects the Bush-era conflict over the power of the judiciary to review executive branch authority to declare an individual an enemy combatant and imprison them indefinitely. Foster also comments on Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzon's launching of an investigation into the criminal authorization of torture authored by six former Bush administration legal advisors under the doctrine of universal jurisdiction.

To learn more about the legal case involving prisoners at the Bagram U.S. airbase in Afghanistan, visit the International Justice Network's website at

Related links:

* "Judge Rules Some Prisoners at Bagram Have Right of Habeas Corpus," New York Times, April 3, 2009

* "Spanish judge to hear torture case against six Bush officials,"The Guardian, March 29, 2009

* Amnesty International at
* Center for Constitutional Rights' campaign: 100 Days to Restore the Constitution at
* American Civil Liberties Union at
* National Lawyers Guild at



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"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit:
"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
For an email subscription of "Between The Lines Weekly Summary" which features a RealAudio link to the week's program for Between The Lines, send an email to btlsummary-subscribe (at)
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©2009 Between The Lines. All Rights Reserved.
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