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Appeals court denies relief to Afghan war detainees

[JURIST] A panel of the US DC Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday that it had no jurisdiction to hear claims of unlawful detention brought by 16 Afghan war detainees - including two Britons and two Australians - held without access to lawyers or their families at the US Navy base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. Upholding a lower court ruling, the Court said its jurisdiction did not extend to non-resident aliens outside the sovereign territory of the United States (sovereignty over the Guantanamo Bay base properly belonging to the nation of Cuba, which leased it to the US indefinitely in 1903). Read Al Odah et al. v. US [PDF opinion]. The ruling drew a statement from Attorney General John Ashcroft.

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