Gitmo Detainees Point To Hobby Lobby In Fight For Prayer Rights


Attorneys for two Guantanamo Bay detainees have cited the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision in briefs arguing for their clients’ rights to perform prayers during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Al-Jazeera America reported on the motions filed in a Washington, D.C., district court on behalf of Emad Hassan of Yemen and Ahmed Rabbani of Pakistan.

“Hobby Lobby makes clear that all persons — human and corporate, citizen and foreigner, resident and alien — enjoy the special religious free exercise protections of” the federal Religious Freedom and Restoration Act, the law at the center of the Hobby Lobby case, the lawyers wrote.

The detainees want to perform additional prayers during the holy month of Ramadan, which began on June 28.

According to Al Jazeera, federal courts have previously ruled that Guantanamo detainees were not “persons within the scope of RFRA” and therefore did not have any guaranteed rights to religious exercise.

A Defense Department spokesperson told the news outlet that the department would “respond through the legal system.”