Judge Orders Five Guantanamo Prisoners To Be Freed

GavelFive months after the Supreme Court ruled that prisoners at the military prison in Guantanamo Bay have the right to habeas corpus, a U.S. judge ruled that five Algerians should be released due to lack of evidence of their guilt. Habeas corpus is a legal principle under which prisoners can challenge their imprisonment.

The five Algerians were arrested in Bosnia after September 11, 2001, on the suspicion that they planned to bomb a U.S. embassy in Sarajevo. The Justice Department later said that the men had planned to enter Afghanistan to fight U.S. forces there. The men have been held without being charged since their arrest.

After hearing their case, the judge ruled that there was not enough proof that the men planned to attack the embassy or fight in Afghanistan. He also ruled, though, that a sixth Algerian who was arrested at the same time should remain imprisoned at Guantanamo.

The U.S. government has the right to appeal the case before the men are released. The Guantanamo Bay military prison was set up in January 2002 to detain terrorism suspects captured after 9/11. There are about 255 prisoners there. President-elect Barack Obama promised in his campaign that he would close the prison if elected president.

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