A US judge has ruled that the Guantanamo Bay military tribunals for terrorism suspects are unconstitutional. In a setback for the Bush administration, Judge Joyce Hens Green also said prisoners held at the military base in Cuba have constitutional protections under the law. More than 540 suspects are being held there after being detained during the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, many alleged to have links to al-Qaeda.
The tribunals have been criticised by human rights groups as fundamentally unfair. But on January 19 a different American judge dismissed the cases of seven other Guantanamo detainees on the grounds they have no constitutional rights, meaning Monday’s ruling is unlikely to be the final word on the issue.