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The Nation

U.S.-Born Detainee Files Appeal

October 02, 2003|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court was asked Wednesday to consider if the government has unconstitutionally imprisoned an American-born man captured during the fighting in Afghanistan.

Yaser Esam Hamdi is being held in a naval brig in South Carolina, without access to attorneys and without charges being filed against him.

"The man's been locked up for two years," said Frank W. Dunham Jr., a federal public defender who filed the appeal on his behalf. "He wants an opportunity to be heard in court."

The U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., ruled in January that the government has wide latitude to detain people caught fighting against the United States on foreign soil during wartime, without giving them traditional legal rights.

The Bush administration has about a month to file a response.

Hamdi was among the Guantanamo Bay military prison detainees. He was moved to the United States when authorities learned that he was born in Louisiana, before his parents moved the family to Saudi Arabia.

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