U.S.: Afghan detainees don't have rights

Feb. 21, 2009 at 7:36 AM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 21 (UPI) -- The Obama administration says it will maintain its predecessor's stance on denying U.S. constitutional rights to terror detainees held in Afghanistan.

The U.S. Justice Department, in a court filing made Friday in Washington, says it will adhere to the policies of the Bush administration when it comes to granting rights to terrorism suspects being held without charges at the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, CNN reported.

Five Bagram detainees are suing the United States, seeking the same rights to challenge their detentions as the U.S. Supreme Court last year granted to such "illegal combatants" being held at the U.S. military prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Human rights advocates were hoping that the Obama administration would move to apply the Supreme Court ruling to the Afghan prisoners. But in its Friday filing, the administration said, "Having considered the matter, the government adheres to its previously articulated position," CNN reported.

Meanwhile, a U.S. Defense Department report concluded Friday that detainees at the Guantanamo Bay are treated humanely and recommends that high value and violent detainees be allowed to pray and have recreation time in groups of three, the U.S. broadcaster said.

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