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Detention of an Afghan at Guantánamo Bay Is Ruled Unlawful

WASHINGTON — A federal judge has ruled that the United States has no legal basis for holding an Afghan man at Guantánamo Bay because although he fought on the side of a militia in Afghanistan, he was not part of Al Qaeda.

U.S. District Court Judge Amit P. Mehta found that the detainee, Asadullah Haroon Gul, who was captured in Afghanistan in 2007 as a member of an Islamic militia, did not qualify as a member of Al Qaeda or an associated force, the legal basis for detention at Guantánamo Bay.

“What the ruling means is that Mr. Gul’s detention is illegal,” Tara J. Plochocki, a lawyer for the prisoner, said on Wednesday. “The grant of the writ does not mean the judge can order the government to put him on a plane to Kabul, but the government is required to obey court orders and to comply, it must release him.”

Read the full story in the New York Times.