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Guantanamo tribunals begin top terror suspect reviews in closed-door sessions

[JURIST] US military hearings on whether 14 top terror suspects [DNI profile, PDF] formerly held in CIA secret prisons [JURIST report] qualify as "enemy combatants" [CFR backgrounder] began Friday at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive]. Combatant Status Review Tribunals (CSRTs) [DOD backgrounder] will determine the status of Abu Zubaydah [BBC profile], Ramzi bin al-Shibh [Wikipedia profile], Riduan Isamuddin [Wikipedia profile], and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed [FoxNews profile], the alleged mastermind of the September 11, 2001 attacks, as well as other detainees. The proceedings are closed to the press [JURIST report].

The Center for Constitutional Rights [advocacy website], the civil rights group representing detainee Majid Khan [GlobalSecurity profile], has protested that the procedings "cannot in anyway legitimize Khan's unlawful detention." Seton Hall law professor Mark Denbeaux [university profile] and Joshua Denbeaux [corporate website], co-authors of a comprehensive study of Guantanamo detainees [PDF; JURIST report] based on declassified Defense Department records, have criticized the CSRT hearings as "lawless" because detainees cannot have lawyers present or call or view evidence. AFP has more.

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