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Judge rejects Ashcroft claim that appeal rules not applicable in emergencies

[JURIST] A federal district judge Wednesday rejected a claim by former US Attorney General John Ashcroft [Wikipedia profile; JURIST news archive] that the government should be exempt from certain regulations during national emergencies and allowed the continuation of a lawsuit by two Muslim men who said they were abused after being arrested after the Sept. 11 attacks. In a 70-page opinion, US District Judge John Gleeson [official profile] said Ashcroft's argument had no statutory or constitutional basis. The lawsuit naming Ashcroft and other federal officials as defendants was filed by Egyptian Ehab Elmaghraby and Pakistani Javaid Iqbal, who allege that they were beaten, starved and violated with a flashlight while they were held in solitary confinement [New York Times report] at the federal detention center in Brooklyn following the terror attacks. Both men were deported after serving time for non-terror offenses, but they argued they were not allowed to appeal their placement in solitary confinement. In seeking to have the suit dismissed, Ashcroft argued that the government did not need to follow regulations allowing appeals due to the threat of terror attacks. AP has more. A number of reports by the US Department of Justice Inspector General, the most recent [JURIST report] in February 2005, flagged mistreatment of Arab and Muslim detainees held at the Brooklyn detention center after 9/11.

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