Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Dept. of Justice: Corporations Are People… Gitmo Prisoners Are Not

Government lawyers rejects argument that if Hobby Lobby has religious rights, so should people held indefinitely at offshore prison
Sarah Lazare

Lawyers for the Obama administration declared in a court document filed Tuesday that people detained by the U.S. at the Guantánamo Bay prison are not “persons” protected by the U.S. Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

The argument came in response to a lawsuit filed on behalf of two men held at Guantánamo—Emad Hassan from Pakistan and Ahmed Rabbani from Yemen—charging that if the U.S. Supreme Court granted the corporation Hobby Lobby the status of a protected “person” under the RFRA, people incarcerated at the offshore prison should also be afforded religious protections.
Department of Justice lawyers disagreed, endorsing what they say is the precedent of the District Court in Washington, D.C. “which holds that Guantánamo detainees, as nonresident aliens outside the United States sovereign territory, are not protected ‘person[s]‘ within the meaning and scope of RFRA,” according to the filing.
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