detainees families sue
detention of the two is being turned into a human rights issue
that will have implications for all the detainees at the centre in
Cuba. A statement on behalf of the two says that their case
"tests the power of the federal government and the President
of the US to hold whomever he chooses simply because he does not
families of two British Muslims held at Camp X-Ray
in Cuba have launched a legal challenge against detention of the two
The two on whose behalf the legal challenge has been made are Shafiq
Rasul, 24, and Asif Iqbal, 20, both from Tipton, a small town in the
Midlands. (They are being held alongside at least one other Briton, Feroz
Abbasi, 22, from Croydon, south London.)
The move has been made before a court in Washington, according to the
family lawyers. The families of the two British Muslims are arguing that
they must be given the same rights as American detainee John Walker Lindh.
Walker is being represented by a lawyer in a court, while the detainees at
Camp X-Ray have been denied access to family or to lawyers. Nor are they
being taken to a court for trial.
About 300 prisoners are being held at Camp X-Ray. The detention of the two
is being turned into a human rights issue that will have implications for
all the detainees at the centre in Cuba. A statement on behalf of the two
says that their case "tests the power of the federal government and
the President of the US to hold whomever he chooses simply because he does
not like them."
The statement from the lawyers says: "We are asking that British
citizens be treated with as much respect as Americans."
The statement on behalf of the detainees says the situation "violates
the US Constitution's guarantee of due process, to which any foreign
nationals are entitled."
detained men are to be produced before a military tribunal. It is not
clear yet what rights they will have. But the tribunal will have the power
to hand out death penalties.
This is the first legal move launched on behalf of any of the prisoners at
The lawyers for the two men told the New York Times earlier that they are
optimistic that the courts will find the detentions illegal.
"This is beyond anything the United States has ever attempted,"
lawyer Joseph Margulies, who is part of the legal team, was quoted as
"There's never been a situation in which the United States has taken
the position that - without any due process at all a person can be held
indefinitely, without being notified of the charges they face, without
access to counsel."