The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in a 44-page decision on Christmas Eve that habeas corpus petitions filed by five prisoners who are held by the US military at the Bagram prison in Afghanistan are "beyond the reach" of the US Constitution.
The petitions invoked the prisoners’ right to challenge unlawful detention. While the right is not fully implemented in practice, it is recognized by the US Supreme Court for prisoners held at the notorious US-run Guantanamo prison in Cuba.
However, the US appeals court rejected on Tuesday Bagram prisoners’ petition citing administration claims that there are differences between Guantanamo and Bagram, which is also known as "Afghanistan’s Guantanamo."
Three of the five Bagram prisoners who filed the petitions had been involved in an earlier 2010 case with the same result. The three appellants were actually captured outside of Afghanistan and US authorities transported them to Bagram to avoid legal scrutiny for their indefinite detention.
The US is reportedly holding non-Afghan detainees at Bagram. There have been numerous allegations of serious prisoner abuse by US forces at the notorious prison.
In this edition of the show we ask: shouldn’t this prison on Afghan soil, be run by the Afghan government, and not the US?