A judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia ruled Feb. 16 that claims of unlawful treatment and wrongful death brought on behalf of two former Guantánamo Bay detainees are barred by the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA). The two men, Yasser Al-Zahrani and Salah Ali Abdullah Ahmed Al-Salami, were among three detainees who allegedly hanged themselves in their cells in July 2006. The claim was brought against former US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld and more than 100 military officers and personnel under the Alien Tort Claims Act. The defendants moved to dismiss the suit based on section 7 of the MCA, which removes the ability of federal courts to hear challenges to the treatment of aliens who have been “properly detained” as enemy combatants. Judge Ellen Huvelle found that since the two men had been properly detained, the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case. (Jurist, Feb. 17)
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Bush ‘knew Guantánamo prisoners were innocent’
From the London Times, April 9: