David Hicks, an Australian citizen, was one of the first men brought to Guantánamo, where he was tortured and held for six years. In 1999, Hicks, then 23 years old, converted to Islam and left his homeland to wander the world. His travels took him to Afghanistan, where, shortly after 9/11, he was sold to the U.S. military by the Northern Alliance for a bounty and sent to Guantánamo. In 2002, with representation from the Center for Constitutional Rights and civil rights attorney Joseph Margulies, David Hicks filed one of the first habeas corpus petitions challenging the government's ability detain individuals at Guantánamo indefinitely without due process.
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This system was set up to ensure that the U.S. government's torture program would never face trial, and so far it has succeeded. For the past decade, Guantánamo has been a parallel universe where information tainted by torture may be admitted as evidence, where the centuries-old attorney-client privilege is subject to arbitrary interference by military officials, and where people spend a decade or more waiting for a day in court.
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