For Immediate Release
May 15, 2007
Susan Lehman, 212–998–6318
Kafayat Alli-Balogun, 212–998–6735
Brennan Center Calls for Continued Access to Guantanamo Detainees
Today, a federal appeals court in Washington heard arguments in a significant case that will determine the future of attorneys access to Guantanamo detainees. The Brennan Center issued the following statement which may be attributed to Jonathan Hafetz, Litigation Director in the Liberty and National Security Project at the Center:
“The Administration’s proposed restrictions will inhibit detainees from the right to meaningfully challenge the allegations against them. The restrictions have nothing to do with national security and everything to do with covering up government mistakes and illegality. These new rules for lawyers would make effective representation impossible and return Guantanamo to its former status as a legal black hole that has undermined America’s reputation and credibility in the world.
The proposed rules include:
opening of mail between lawyers and clients
prohibiting lawyers from sharing information with detainees critical to their defense
denying lawyers access to information the government deems “classified”
unilaterally terminating attorney access based upon the government’s say-so
The Liberty and National Security Project at the Brennan Center currently represents several detainees and works to ensure accountability, transparency, and checks and balances in the formulation and implementation of national security policy. It is founded on the belief that these are vital for individual liberties and an effective and sustainable counter-terrorism strategy.