US President Donald Trump’s administration has allegedly detained an American citizen at a secret jail in Iraq for two months now, according to The Independent.
The US citizen, who has yet to be identified, surrendered to US forces and was reportedly fighting alongside Daesh in Syria. The prisoner has been denied any access to a lawyer.
Steven Dalbey, director for the Defence Department’s office of detainee policy claimed that the American surrendered to Syrian Democratic Forces on around September 12. The American was then handed over to the American forces who identified him as an ‘enemy combatant’ and detained him in Iraq.
“This location is within an armed conflict zone with restricted civilian access based on military operational concerns, security concerns and political sensitivities of the host nation,” Mr Dalbey said.
The citizen has been detained as an unlawful enemy combatant; however the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) argued the Pentagon has yet to present any evidence.
“An American citizen has been locked up for nearly two months and repeatedly asserted his constitutional right to a lawyer. But the Trump administration is doing all within its power to deny him that basic protection,” said Jonathan Hafetz, a senior staff attorney with the ACLU in New York.
Last month, the ACLU even filed a petition in the US District Court challenging the US citizen’s detention and seeking to provide him with legal counsel. The US attorneys argued that ACLU wants to provide legal counsel to someone it knows nothing about.
According to the government, ACLU’s “attempt to interject itself as the advocate for an individual who came into US military custody less than seven weeks ago, was identified as an enemy combatant and is currently detained in Iraq pending a determination of his further disposition is improper, unnecessary and should be dismissed.”
Moreover, the government also informed that a team of International Committee of the Red Cross has visited the detainee and the team could help him contact his relatives.