ACLU will represent U.S. citizen detained in Iraq

ACLU will represent U.S. citizen detained in Iraq

An American citizen being held by the U.S. military in Iraq without charges wants to challenge his detention in court, the American Civil Liberties Union announced today.

The ACLU, which will represent the detainee in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, spoke with the American citizen on Wednesday after the court ruled late last month that the detainee had the right to speak with a lawyer.

“The Trump administration illegally denied an American his rights to access a lawyer and a court for nearly four months, but those efforts have finally failed,” said ACLU attorney Jonathan Hafetz. “Now that our client has secured the judicial review that the government attempted to block, he looks forward to establishing the illegality of his detention.”

The U.S. military has been holding the citizen in Iraq since mid-September for allegedly fighting on behalf of the Islamic State, but has not charged him or provided evidence justifying his detention.

DOJ said in a statement that it is reviewing the ACLU's filing about its plans "and the court has given the government until 5 p.m. Monday to file a response."

Josh Gerstein contributed to this report.