US army tribunals at Guantanamo Bay open to journalists
GUANTANAMO: The US military was allowing journalists inside a review hearing for a second day Friday to observe as a three-member panel considered the case of another detainee among hundreds accused of ties to Al Qaeda or the Taliban militia that used to rule Afghanistan.
The review panels have the power to recommend reversing assessments that detainees are “enemy combatants,” a classification that gives them fewer legal protections than prisoner-of-war status. The initial decisions have yet to be announced; officials say they could be by next week.
The process is separate from military commissions that are to try an initial group of four detainees on war crimes conspiracy and other charges. Pretrial hearings for those cases are planned later this month. The military convened the Combatant Status Review Tribunals in response to a Supreme Court ruling in June that prisoners have a right to challenge their detention in US courts. ap