Category: Civil Liberties

Clif Bennette: Habeas Schmabeas?

The United States Supreme Court decided on June 12, 2008 that Guantánamo Bay detainees Al Odah and Boumediene have the affirmative right to the Great Writ of habeas corpus. The Court decided it was unconstitutional for President Bush to have the power to imprison people he considers enemy combatants indefinitely, without charging them with a Read more…

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Charles Dickey: The Fall of Industrialism and the Return of Humanity

In the spectacle that is American presidential politics, it’s simple enough to view the choices and check the box of the candidate that seems best, or at least the least threatening.  Of course, this time around and in the two-person pool of viable candidates, that candidate–for anybody with a shred of humanity and an ounce Read more…

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George Monbiot: Censored by Money

England’s mediaevel libel laws are becoming a global menace to free speech After every test case, the media assume the worst is over: that Britain’s libel laws, designed to protect the powerful from public scrutiny, have been fanged, and freedom of speech will no longer be treated like a crime. And then it gets worse. Read more…

Mike Stark: Spied on by the Maryland police

WHEN I received a voice mail last Wednesday from the Maryland ACLU, I assumed it was about the fight against Maryland‘s death penalty. Executions in Maryland have been shut down since 2006, and the state’s General Assembly has authorized a commission to make recommendations on the future of capital punishment. The commission’s plans are the Read more…

Andy Worthington: “Screwed up” and “abused”: Omar Khadr’s Canadian interrogation at Guantánamo

As the Abu Ghraib scandal demonstrates, a photo is worth a thousand words — even if, as Errol Morris’ newly-released documentary Standard Operating Procedure demonstrates, those words are sometimes what the viewer wishes to see, rather than what actually happened.   There is, therefore, enormous excitement in the media about the first ever release of Read more…

: Landmark Win For Guantánamo Detainees

On June 12, 2008, in one of the most important human rights cases of the decade, the Supreme Court of the United States in Boumediene v. Bush/Al Odah v. United States held, in a 5-4 decision, that the people imprisoned at Guantánamo Bay have the constitutional right to habeas corpus. Habeas Corpus, or the Great Read more…

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Dahr Jamail: The Tale Of A Palestinian Journalist

Muhammad Omer and I jointly received the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism in London on 16 June (1). Omer is a 24-year-old Palestinian with whom I feel honoured to have shared this award, as I told the audience at the prize-giving ceremony. His work from his Gaza homeland has been a beacon of humanitarian reportage; Read more…

Andrew Herd: Extraordinary Rendition: Where’s the outrage?

In a recent article published about the US supreme court ruling confirming Guantanamo inmates’ right to habeas corpus in the Guardian, George Monbiot links the outrage over their treatment to the lack of outrage concerning what has euphemistically been called extraordinary rendition. (1) In comparison to the outrage over the vision of inmates shackled and Read more…

Andy Worthington: Italy’s Forgotten Residents in Guantánamo

Reprieve, the London-based legal action charity that represents 35 of the 273 prisoners still in Guantánamo, has just released a report, The Forgotten Italian Residents in Guantánamo Bay, in an attempt to find a solution to the plight of six of its clients. The six men are Italian residents, who, with one exception, have been Read more…

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Marjorie Cohn: Scalia Cites False Information in Habeas Corpus Dissent

To bolster his argument that the Guantánamo detainees should be denied the right to prove their innocence in federal courts, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in his dissent in Boumediene v. Bush: "At least 30 of those prisoners hitherto released from Guantánamo have returned to the battlefield." It turns out that statement is false. According to Read more…

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