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Democrats Push Rights for Gitmo Detainees

Posted Jun 6, 2007 9:11 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Democrats are citing the dismissal of charges against two Guantanamo detainees in renewing calls for changes in the system used to try their cases.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said legislation to restore habeas corpus rights for detainees could reach the Senate floor this month, the Washington Post reports.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will address the issue on Thursday, the New York Times reports.

Another proposal would give detainees access to evidence and lawyers when their cases are reviewed by Combatant Status Review Tribunals, which determine whether detainees are enemy combatants. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., added the provision to a defense authorization bill. It would also require a military judge to oversee the hearings and bar evidence obtained by coercion.

The judges dismissed the two cases on Monday because detainees had not been designated as “unlawful enemy combatants” as required by the Military Commissions Act of 2006.

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