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OPINION
September 26, 2012
Re "The detainee problem," Editorial, Sept. 23 The Times writes: "The administration needs to make more of an effort to arrange the repatriation or resettlement of individuals no longer considered a threat. " The Department of Homeland Security cannot unilaterally return foreign detainees without an approved travel document from their countries. The DHS has released many - probably hundreds, if not thousands - of foreign-born detainees who have been ordered deported but have not been accepted back in their native countries.
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OPINION
April 22, 2014 | By The Times editorial board
Comprehensive immigration reform is probably dead for yet another year, the victim - once again - of a dysfunctional Congress that can't even reach agreement on the things it agrees on. There is nothing President Obama can do about that, although if therapy were available for political relationships, there'd be a referral waiting to be made. In the meantime, the president still has to administer immigration laws as they exist, and he reportedly is considering dropping his opposition to bond hearings for detained undocumented immigrants.
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OPINION
October 30, 2009
Virtually the first order of business for Barack Obama after his inauguration was a series of executive orders aimed at closing the detention center at Guantanamo Bay within a year and providing for a fair disposition of charges against the remaining detainees there. His break with Bush administration policies garnered extravagant -- and premature -- praise. Thanks to presidential procrastination and congressional resistance, Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. recently said that the Jan. 22 deadline "will be difficult to meet."
NATIONAL
April 11, 2014 | By Ken Dilanian
WASHINGTON - A secret Senate report on the CIA's treatment of Al Qaeda detainees from 2001 to 2006 concludes that the spy agency used brutal, unauthorized interrogation techniques, misrepresented key elements of the program to policymakers and the public, and actively sought to undermine congressional oversight, officials who have read the report say. Contrary to previous assertions by President George W. Bush and CIA leaders, the use of harsh interrogation...
OPINION
November 8, 2011
In 2009, President Obama vowed to overhaul the nation's immigration detention system. Since then, his administration has taken some steps to deliver on that promise, such as providing detainees improved access to medical care and closing troubled facilities. But it has yet to provide the most meaningful fix: ensuring that indigent immigrants in detention have access to legal counsel. Until now, federal courts have held that only criminal defendants are entitled to court-appointed counsel.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 21, 2009 | Carol J. Williams
Immigrants detained for more than six months without a bond hearing can sue the federal government in a class action aimed at getting a court to recognize their right to a swifter appearance before a judge, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday. In a case brought by civil rights groups, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court decision denying the group class status for their lawsuit. "This is a huge victory for immigrants who have been held in prolonged, indefinite detention without the most basic element of due process: a hearing to determine if their detention is justified," said Ahilan Arulanantham, director of immigrants' rights and national security for the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California.
NATIONAL
August 9, 2009 | Greg Miller and Josh Meyer
U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. is poised to appoint a criminal prosecutor to investigate alleged CIA abuses committed during the interrogation of terrorism suspects, current and former U.S. government officials said. A senior Justice Department official said that Holder envisioned an inquiry that would be "narrow" in scope, focusing on "whether people went beyond the techniques that were authorized" in Bush administration memos that liberally interpreted anti-torture laws.
WORLD
May 29, 2013 | By Janet Stobart
LONDON -- British lawyers representing eight Afghan prisoners at Camp Bastion, Britain's largest military base in Afghanistan, told the British Broadcasting Corp. on Wednesday that their clients had been held without trial and denied access to a lawyer, some for as many as 14 months. Phil Shiner of Public Interest Lawyers is turning to British courts to press the Defense Ministry to release the men or explain why they were being detained in a legal limbo. He called the Camp Bastion center a “secret facility” in “flagrant breach of common and international law.”   As many as 90 detainees are being held there awaiting transfer to the Afghan judicial system under suspicion of killing or plotting attacks on British and allied troops.  Since November, the Defense Ministry has halted transfers of prisoners to the Afghan judiciary what the ministry said Wednesday was "evidence that suggested a risk of mistreatment of detainees.
NEWS
November 17, 2011 | By Kathleen Hennessey
A bipartisan Senate compromise regarding proper handling of detainees has drawn a veto threat from the White House and sharp criticism from other Senate Democrats. The Obama administration on Thursday said it would reject a series of provisions on detainees for the defense authorization bill. "In their current form, some of these provisions disrupt the executive branch's ability to enforce the law and impose unwise and unwarranted restrictions on the U.S. government's ability to aggressively combat international terrorism," the administration wrote in a statement.
WORLD
November 4, 2013 | By Carol J. Williams
Defense Department and CIA interrogation policies after 9/11 forced medical professionals to abandon their ethical obligations to "do no harm" to those in their care and some prohibited practices, including force-feeding of hunger strikers, continue today, a report issued Monday alleges. The report, Ethics Abandoned: Medical Professionalism and Detainee Abuse in the War on Terror , was carried out by a 19-member task force of Columbia University's Institute on Medicine as a Profession and the Open Society Foundations.
NATIONAL
March 20, 2014 | By Richard Serrano
WASHINGTON - Ali Ahmad Razihi, accused of being a former bodyguard to Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, hopes someday to leave the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay and return to Yemen, where he plans to marry and help his family in their fruit and vegetable farm. At a hearing Thursday to decide whether he should get his wish, U.S. military lawyers said they couldn't say with certainty whether he remained a threat to this country. Razihi appeared at the Pentagon's latest Periodic Review Board hearing, becoming only the third Guantanamo detainee to do so. The hearings, begun by the Obama administration as a way to gradually empty and close the prison in Cuba, are giving half of the roughly 150 prisoners a chance to be moved to a list of detainees eligible for release.
NATIONAL
March 9, 2014 | By Matt Pearce
About 330 detainees were on a hunger strike for better conditions at an immigration detention center in Tacoma, Wash., as of Sunday afternoon, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The hunger strike at the Northwest Detention Center began Friday, and at one point more than half of the facility's 1,300 detainees - 750 - were refusing meals, an ICE official told the Los Angeles Times. The facility is privately owned and operated by the GEO Group Inc., a government contractor.
NATIONAL
February 20, 2014 | By Richard A. Serrano, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
WASHINGTON - A Guantanamo Bay prisoner who was a relative of one of the Sept. 11 hijackers pleaded guilty Thursday in the bombing attack of a French oil tanker off the coast of Yemen. Top military officials pointed to the plea as an example of the efficiency of the war crimes tribunals at the U.S. military prison in Cuba, though critics noted that the majority of terrorism suspects held there are still in legal limbo awaiting trial. Ahmed Darbi pleaded guilty during a court arraignment in what would have been the start of his military trial.
NATIONAL
February 3, 2014 | By Richard A. Serrano
WASHINGTON - A Kuwaiti detainee at Guantanamo Bay is mounting a novel legal challenge to win his release, arguing in a federal lawsuit that he should be freed when U.S. combat troops pull out of Afghanistan because international law stipulates that prisoners of war be returned home once a conflict is over. The lawsuit is the latest attempt in a 12-year struggle by the Odah family of Kuwait to secure the release of a dozen Kuwaiti young men who were captured in Afghanistan after the Sept.
OPINION
January 24, 2014 | By Colleen Graffy
We don't know their names but we know their numbers, and we can see the evidence of their torture, thanks to a former crime-scene photographer who says he became a reluctant documenter of murder "on an industrial scale" committed by Bashar Assad's regime in Syria. The photographer, code-named Caesar to protect his identity after his defection from Syria, says he worked in the military police for 13 years documenting crime scenes and accidents. But after the civil war began, Caesar says, Assad's government put his skill-set to a different use: photographing the bodies of detainees who had been killed by the regime.
WORLD
January 21, 2014 | By Raja Abdulrahim
With peace talks due to begin this week in Switzerland, a report lays out new evidence that the Syrian government engaged in the “systematic torture and killing” of detainees that it says could support charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. A team of legal and forensics experts, including three lawyers with experience prosecuting war crimes in Sierra Leone and the former Yugoslavia, was asked by a London law firm acting on behalf of Qatar to review about 55,000 images said to show bodies of people who died in Syrian custody.
NATIONAL
September 21, 2012 | By Carol J. Williams
The Obama administration Friday disclosed the identities of 55 prisoners who have been cleared for release from the Guantanamo Bay detention center for terrorism suspects. The reversal of its long-standing policy of keeping the names confidential means defense lawyers for the men no longer considered a threat to U.S. or international security can try to find countries willing to take them in. An additional 31 prisoners were cleared for transfer home or resettlement in third countries after a review of the grounds for holding each detainee ordered by President Obama shortly after he took office in January 2009.
NATIONAL
February 20, 2014 | By Richard A. Serrano, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
WASHINGTON - A Guantanamo Bay prisoner who was a relative of one of the Sept. 11 hijackers pleaded guilty Thursday in the bombing attack of a French oil tanker off the coast of Yemen. Top military officials pointed to the plea as an example of the efficiency of the war crimes tribunals at the U.S. military prison in Cuba, though critics noted that the majority of terrorism suspects held there are still in legal limbo awaiting trial. Ahmed Darbi pleaded guilty during a court arraignment in what would have been the start of his military trial.
NATIONAL
January 9, 2014 | By Richard A. Serrano
WASHINGTON - A former bodyguard for Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has been cleared for release from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the first in a series of review hearings that the Obama administration is holding to speed up the eventual closure of the U.S. military prison for terrorist detainees, the Pentagon announced Thursday. Mahmoud Abd Al Aziz Al Mujahid, who allegedly underwent militant training at a secret camp in Afghanistan, is no longer a "significant threat" to the United States and is eligible for transfer from the prison at some point, the review board members decided.
NEWS
December 26, 2013 | By Maeve Reston
KAILUA, Hawaii - President Obama praised Congress on Thursday for making it easier to transfer Guantanamo detainees to other countries, but noted that lawmakers' actions fell short of the flexibility he needs to close the prison. Obama cited his repeated requests to Congress for cooperation in closing the detention center at the U.S. naval station in Cuba, which he has vowed to do since his first presidential campaign. "The continued operation of the facility weakens our national security by draining resources, damaging our relationships with key allies and partners, and emboldening violent extremists," the president said in a statement from Hawaii, where he is spending his Christmas vacation, after he signed the National Defense Authorization Act for the 2014 fiscal year.
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