The American government has successfully appealed a ruling by a district court banning indefinite detention of suspects without due process, reinstituting the controversial law that contradicts the US Constitution, Press TV reports.
The restoration of the law allows the Obama administration to hold suspects, even American citizens, captive without trial at military prison facilities such as the notorious Guantanamo Bay in Cuba for as long as they desire.
The provision is part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), signed into law by US President Barack Obama in 2011. The controversial bill further extends surveillance powers of various American law enforcement institutions, allowing the US military forces around the world to seize any non-combatant foreign individual across the globe.
US Civil Rights Attorney Ron Kuby describes the latest ruling as another blow to American civil liberties, insisting that it grants the government and its military forces too much authority.
This is while US District judge Katherine Forrest dismissed NDAA last week as “deeply flawed,” declaring it unconstitutional on the basis that it violates the 1st and fifth amendments. The Obama administration, however, appealed the verdict passed down by Judge Forrest, claiming that her decision has put the US military operations around the world in jeopardy.
Following up on Obama administration’s legal challenge, US Appeals Judge Raymond Lohier agreed with the government on Tuesday and lifted the ban, exposing American natives just as vulnerable to such arbitrary arrests as hundreds of individuals living in other countries that may be detained after being labeled as ‘a terrorist’ by American authorities or military forces.
International human rights groups insist that more than 700 people across the globe have been kidnapped by the US authorities and transported to detention facilities in different parts of the world. The practice, often referred to as Rendition, gained international attention with the case of Khalid El Masri - a German citizen who was tortured in Afghanistan for months before being released in 2004.
A number of US legal experts emphasize, meanwhile, that even the US citizens can now be confronted by a similar plight no matter where they may reside. The fight, however, is far from over on the NDAA issue. The stay on this provision is only effective until September 28th, when the American government will have to defend it before a three judge appeals panel.
Many observers believe that the case will most likely end up in the US Supreme court.