View Full Version : Urgent Action Alert to UAA Members and friends of Uyghurs

19-12-05, 12:37
December 19, 2005

UAA members

The US House of Representatives passed the Defense Authorization very early this morning and the Graham/Levin amendment was included. The Senate may vote as early as today so it is very important you get in touch with your Senators today if you have not already done so. The House version of the Defense Authorization and Appropriations include this language that takes away habeas corpus rights from the detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

Habeas Corpus is the right of a person who has been imprisoned to have a judge review his case. Its most central function is to provide some kind of judicial
review where the executive imprisons someone without a hearing. Down
through English history and US history, habeas corpus has been a powerful
safeguard for the individual human being against the power of the King or
executive. When Americans of Japanese ancestry were sent to the California camps during WW2, habeas corpus was how they got to court.

And habeas corpus was how Adel Abdu Al-Hakim and Abu Bakker Qassim’s case got to court as well. On December 11, they entered their fifth year of captivity despite the fact the Defense Department has determined they are not enemy combatants. At the latest hearing on the case on Monday December 12, the judge said he is about to rule. But Congress may beat him to it, and condemn the detainees to indefinite detention without their day in court.

It is important you take action right away to make sure the Senate does not deny the right of habeas corpus to the Uyghur detainees in Guantanamo Bay. Go to www.senate.gov (http://www.senate.gov/) and find the telephone numbers and email addresses for your Senators. Below is a sample letter where you can insert your Senator’s name and sign with your name.

We urge you to take action today!

December 19, 2005
Dear Senator ,

I am very concerned about the language of the Graham/Levin/Kyl amendment to the Defense Authorization bill. It would deny important habeas corpus rights to the detainees at Guantanamo Bay and I urge you to oppose this amendment.

One of Senator Graham’s clear intents was to limit what he claimed were “frivolous” cases filed by Guantanamo detainees before the US District Court. But habeas corpus cases are not frivolous, they are a fundamental challenge against an individual’s detention.

The habeas corpus rights have been very instrumental in allowing the Uyghur detainees access to lawyers, which has provided the public information that until then had remained internal to the Defense Department. Through the habeas corpus claims, the case of Abu Bakker Qassim and Adel Abdul Hakim was brought to light. Last March, the military conceded that they are non-combatants, although they have known for many years these men were taken by mistake.

I am particularly concerned that the language of the amendment does not distinguish between “enemy combatant” detainees and “non enemy combatants” (NECs) detainees. Certainly those already determined to be NECs by the Combatant Status Review Tribunals deserve a fair hearing after being in detention mistakenly for over three years. The habeas corpus process seems to be the only method currently available to correct the mistakes of the detention and tribunal process.

I urge you to reject the Graham/Levin/Kyl amendment and protect core principles of justice and due process, especially the basic right to habeas corpus.