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US allows Bagram detainees to challenge detention

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Some of the 600 prisoners held at the Bagram airbase in Afghanistan will be given the right to challenge their detention, the US announced yesterday. But the filing by the Justice Department with the Washington-based US Court of Appeals does not grant detainees the right to file lawsuits in US courts. It also fails to provide Bagram detainees with the counsel of a lawyer – leading critics of the new rules to describe Bagram as "Obama's Guantánamo."

The US has been keeping terror suspects at Bagram – a former Soviet airbase north of Kabul – since 2002. Monday's filing was a response to an April ruling by US District Judge John Bates, who argued that Bagram prisoners should be allowed challenge their detention in US civilian courts.

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