News Release

* Guantanamo * Al-Arian

MARJORIE COHN
AFP reports: “The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday began considering the right of Guantanamo prisoners to challenge their detention in civilian courts, in a landmark case over ‘war on terror’ detainee rights.”

Cohn is the author of the new book Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law, a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and president of the National Lawyers Guild.

She just wrote the piece “Guantanamo Detainees’ Fate at Stake in Boumediene.” The article says: “In February, two judges on a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the provision of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 that strips the statutory rights of all Guantanamo detainees to have their habeas corpus petitions heard by U.S. federal courts. The Supreme Court will decide in Boumediene whether these men still have a constitutional right to habeas corpus.

“If the lower court decision is left to stand, they can be held there for the rest of their lives without ever having a federal judge determine the legality of their detention.”
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JONATHAN TURLEY
Available for a limited number of interviews, Turley is lead counsel to Sami Al-Arian, a Palestinian professor and activist who was found not guilty two years ago of terror-related charges, yet remains in jail in the United States. Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington Law School, Turley will be on a panel following the D.C. premier of the new Norwegian-made documentary “USA v. Al-Arian” this evening. A synopsis of the movie and case is at “Civics 101: USA v. Al Arian” by Russell Mokhiber. Further information on the case from Al-Arian’s defenders is available.

Turley said today: “The case of Dr. Sami Al-Arian is a chilling reminder of how the government can abuse existing laws to retaliate against those who refuse to yield to coercion and threats. Dr. Al-Arian’s continued incarceration shocks the conscience and has rightfully become an international cause for protest. … The fact is that the system worked in Florida [where Al-Arian was tried] with the help of a courageous jury. What failed was the commitment of the Bush administration to live up to its agreements and to live by the results of our jury system.”

JOHN SUGG
Sugg is a journalist and editor who has been covering charges against Al-Arian since 1995 and is currently working on a book on the case. His pieces include “Sami al-Arian’s Final Persecution.”

Sugg is senior editor of the Weekly Planet/Creative Loafing group of newspapers. He began covering Al-Arian while he was an editor of the group’s Tampa paper.
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167.