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Editorial: Detainees deserve charges

Wednesday, Reuters released an article that said at least 300 individuals detained in U.S. jails following the Sept. 11 attacks are still there. While some are being held due to immigration violations, many have not been charged with any crime, and others are being detained because they happened to be in the country at a bad time, seeking asylum.

It is wrong for our government to hold these people without charging them. The laws that allow for their detainment should be re-evaluated, and the government should be up-front with the questioning of these people. It is wrong to detain people, especially women and children who sought asylum in a country in which they thought they could escape persecution.

The United States needed to detain people immediately after the Sept. 11 attacks in order to get a jump on seeking clues for the investigation. However, six months should have been plenty of time to question and find information from most of these detainees.

However, there are a number of rulings that claim asylum seekers have constitutional protections, that they can be detained indefinitely and they are not given an automatic right to an attorney. Thus, many women and even children have been unjustly detained in the country.

For instance, an Iranian Christian woman who came to the United States last March was arrested with her two sons in September. One son was 18 and was sent to prison while she and her younger son were held in a hotel room. All three are still being held and are not allowed to post bond.

Such actions are wrong and unfair. The government has a duty to protect Americans, but it also has a right to be just. These detentions are not just and only reinforce stereotypes about Arabs and Muslims. The Justice Department should be ashamed and either finish its investigations or let the detainees go – six months is long enough to be held without charge.