Matt Howes / ACLU – 2004-05-28 09:13:05
If you were classified as an “enemy combatant” by the government, would you know your rights? Would you know that you could be held indefinitely — for days, weeks, or even years — without a trial or access to a lawyer?
The Bush Administration’s classification of prisoners as “enemy combatants” and holding them without charge violates international law and the US Constitution. If the government has evidence that an individual is involved with terrorism, there are other, better, legal options than detaining them without charge.
By simply locking people away people without giving them the chance to clear their name, the government is violating their civil rights and increasing the chance that innocent people will be improperly locked up.
Right now, the Supreme Court is considering whether indefinite detention without charge violates federal law, in part because Congress has not approved such detentions. The Court’s ruling on this practice is expected soon and the Bush Administration may seek Congress’s endorsement if the case goes against them.
Now is the time to tell your Members of Congress that you oppose the Bush Administration’s practice of indefinite detention and you do not want Congress to endorse it.
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Matt Howes is the National Internet Organizer for the ACLU.