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Federal judge grants detainee request for advance notice of transfer

[JURIST] US District Judge Gladys Kessler of the DC District Court has ruled [opinion, PDF] that Haji Rohullah [Cooperative Research profile], an Afghan citizen detained by the US military at Bagram Air Base [GlobalSecurity backgrounder] in Afghanistan, is entitled to 30 days advance notice of any proposed transfer from that facility. The ruling signaled at least a temporary victory for detainees being held by US forces abroad. In Tuesday's ruling, Kessler wrote that "[i]f Rohullah is transferred, his habeas claim may be eliminated," and noted that the outcome of Rohullah's case will likely be affected by the Supreme Court's upcoming decision in Boumediene v. Bush [JURIST report]. In that case, the Court will consider the constitutionality of the habeas corpus-stripping provisions of the Military Commissions Act of 2006 [JURIST news archive], which prevent "enemy combatants" held at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] from challenging their detentions in federal court.

The International Justice Network [advocacy website], representing Rohullah along with the DC-based law firm of Baach Robinson & Lewis, praised [press release] the DC District Court's "groundbreaking" ruling for Rohullah Wednesday, saying it will allow lawyers to challenge any proposed custodial transfers of their clients in the future. The Los Angeles Times has more.

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